Chelsea FC have an abundance of players out and about in Europe on loan spells. The club have numerous internationals currently out playing for other clubs on loan - and perhaps none more talented than goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois.
The Belgian international was dubbed the best in the world by Radamel Falcao, and was officially the best in Spain last term - awarded the Zamora trophy in recognition of his campaign.
But as yet he has not featured for Chelsea, because veteran goalkeeper Petr Cech is still considered number one at Stamford Bridge.
For the past two and a half seasons he has been at Atletico Madrid on loan - signed as a replacement to Manchester United stopper David De Gea. Nowadays he is a part of the furniture at the Vicente Calderon - to the point it is easy to forget he is actually a loan player.
Despite Jose Mourinho insisting that he is to go absolutely nowhere next summer - Atletico and Barcelona have both been linked with a move for the player.
Chelsea were given a boost in that respect recently - when Courtois’ dad revealed he had no desire to make a Catalan switch.
And after last night’s performance - that is very good news indeed.
Atletico took on Valencia in the Copa del Rey last night - and found themselves dominated for much of the game.
However standing in their way was Courtois - in inspired form.
In the end their pressure told - with former Spurs striker Helder Postiga bagging a late equaliser in a 1-1 draw.
But without Courtois there is no doubt Valencia would have won this first leg tie. After the game, Courtois was matter of fact about his duties in the Atletico goalmouth:
“We were made to suffer in the second half, but I’m in goal and it's my job to stop the shots.”
It was his job indeed - and he did it once again with absolute aplomb.
Here are three of his excellent saves from the game:
image: © wshjackson