Thibaut Courtois faces ‘quite a long time’ on the sidelines after suffering a serious knee injury in a training session – delivering another hammer blow to Chelsea’s hopes of defending their Premier League title.
The 23-year-old took a nasty fall as he prepared for his side’s encounter with Everton, and scans subsequently revealed he had damaged his medial ligaments. With the Blues already 12 points behind pace setters Manchester City, the loss of Courtois could be catastrophic to his team’s hopes.
Jose Mourinho confirmed the extent of the Belgian’s injury during a press conference; a media outing in which he looked extremely fed up. “It is a big blow, it is not easy to have the best goalkeeper in the world injured,” he said.
Courtois will be replaced by former Stoke keeper Asmir Begovic for the foreseeable future, and the Everton trip will be the £8 million man’s second appearance for the club following the 3-0 mauling at the hands of City in the third game of the campaign.
Best in the World
Belgium number one Courtois has established himself as one of the very best goalkeepers in world football, after a string of fantastic performances whilst on loan at Atletico Madrid saw him oust Petr Cech on his return to Stamford Bridge.
Cech would eventually join Arsenal in the summer, and whilst his replacement Begovic has a safe pair of hands he is certainly not a match winner in the same vein as Courtois.
It’s no surprise then that Chelsea’s odds of defending their Premier League title have been significantly lengthened and with such a gap to Man City in place already it will take a huge effort to close the deficit. The loss of Courtois certainly won’t help.
Who knows, you might even be joined in the games room by Thibaut Courtois – he’s got plenty of free time on his hands! And if you want to see how Chelsea’s season would have panned out if the Belgian stopper hadn’t of gotten injured, then perhaps you’d better fire up your copy of FIFA 16 or Football Manager to see what happens.