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ESPN FC  By ESPN staff
Aug 1, 2014

Mourinho: Keeper battle is good news

ESPN FC's Shaka Hislop weighs in on the upcoming goalkeeping battle between Petr Cech and Thibaut Courtois.

Jose Mourinho has said he has "a good problem" to look forward to as Petr Cech and Thibaut Courtois battle to be his No.1 goalkeeper at Stamford Bridge next season.

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Belgium international Courtois has returned to London after three years on loan with Atletico Madrid -- with whom he won La Liga and reached the Champions League final last season -- and is targeting his "dream" of playing in the Premier League.

Mourinho has hailed the 22-year-old as the best young goalkeeper in the world, and Courtois said he was eager to learn from Czech Republic international Cech as he looks to take his place in the side.

"Petr is one of the best goalkeepers in the world," he told Chelsea's official website. "Every goalkeeper can have a type of thing they are usually good at, and when you see them train you can learn from them. It helps you in your training.

"I signed with Chelsea three years ago, but because of the loan it took until now to have my first training session -- so I'm really happy to be here.

"There will be a battle to be in the starting XI, but that's good. It helps the players to improve themselves to play even better.

"I gained a lot of experience [at Atletico] and played some important games. In every aspect of being a goalkeeper, I improved myself. I learned a lot.

"When I was younger, I always dreamed of playing in the Premier League -- so hopefully I can do that soon."

Mourinho echoed those remarks, with the Daily Mail reporting him as saying: "It's a good problem for me. Thibault just arrived, and he arrived as the best young goalkeeper in the world. They [Courtois and Cech] will fight, and for me it is a good.

"I was never afraid to make big decisions. I prefer to make this decision than to have a keeper I don't trust."

There has been speculation that, with Chelsea needing to cut one overseas player from their squad, Cech could leave -- but Mourinho played down that possibility.

The return of Didier Drogba means the Blues are now one man over the 17 foreign players limit dictated by Premier League and Champions League rules on the quota of home-grown players.

But Mourinho said he did not believe Cech faced an uncertain future, adding: "He is working hard. He is playing without limitation.

"This is a club that wants to be strong and have real possibilities to compete. We need competition in every place."

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