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Spurs' home run on the line

Five Aside
ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Petr Cech could stay and fight

Petr Cech's agent has indicated that the Chelsea goalkeeper might remain at the club to try and regain the No. 1 jersey from Thibaut Courtois.

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Cech has been the undisputed first-choice at Stamford Bridge for 10 years but finds himself playing second fiddle to Belgium international Courtois following his return from a three-year loan in Spain at Atletico Madrid.

Manager Jose Mourinho had kept his cards close to his chest about who would start the season between the sticks before selecting Courtois for Monday's 3-1 win at Burnley. That led to immediate speculation that Cech could look for a way out of Chelsea before the transfer window closes on Sept. 1.

But Viktor Kolar, his representative, believes the 32-year-old will stay in the short-term at least if he is given a realistic chance to fight for the place he has held since moving to Chelsea from Rennes 10 years ago. But it seems certain the transfer speculation would resurface in January should Courtois, 22, remain in situ.

"I would like to believe that, with regard to Petr's 10 years of service for Chelsea, the club will treat him with respect and will give him a chance to fight for the No. 1 position," Kolar was quoted as saying by The Times.

Courtois, who is keen to repay Chelsea's faith in him, is seen as one of the best young goalkeepers in the world and Mourinho will have been acutely aware that he would have been unable to keep him as understudy. While he will not want to lose Cech, the prospect of losing such an asset as Courtois at such a young age could be seen as more damaging in the long-term.

The keeper enjoyed three hugely successful years at Atletico and would have been happy to move to Madrid permanently had Chelsea not decided to recall him to West London. But he also feels he can learn from Cech.

Courtois said after the win against Burnley: "When you come back from a successful loan, you hope to play. Otherwise, it would maybe have been better for me to go to another team.

"In training, I can still learn from him [Cech] because he has a lot of experience, and he can give me good tips about the Premier League, things I might not know at the start. He is nice to me and he is still proving he is a great goalkeeper. For the team, it's better to have two good goalkeepers. I don't have a problem if he stays."


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