How Chelsea's goalkeeping situation is similar to Liverpool's last summer

Petr Cech

Jose Mourinho has said he would like to keep hold of his two top-class goalkeepers, but Liverpool faced a similar type of situation 12 months ago.

Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho has said he is happy to have both Thibaut Courtois and Petr Cech at the club this season after Courtois has returned to Stamford Bridge following a lengthy loan spell at Atletico Madrid.

Mourinho said: "To have Cech and Courtois means we have the best young goal-keeper in the world and one of the top-three or five most experienced keepers.

"For me and Chelsea it's perfect. Maybe one of them won't be happy but the Chelsea supporters will be happy and they're more important than players."

The goalkeeping situation seems to be very similar to the one that Liverpool faced last season, when Brendan Rodgers brought in Simon Mignolet from Sunderland, despite there being an established number one and fans favourite at the club in Pepe Reina.

It was also hard to see one of them being content with a place on the bench, despite Reina welcoming the competition that Mignolet would provide for the Spaniard at the time.

Reina said last summer: "Every team needs competitors, and when it's positive it is more than welcome. If it is finally done I'll welcome him a lot, and anything he needs, I'm here."

He was subsequently sent on loan to Napoli to work under former boss Rafa Benitez, and Brendan Rodgers seemed to put his faith in Mignolet as his number one. Having returned to Liverpool, Reina's future remains uncertain, with his large wages becoming a major stumbling block to any move.

There is one big difference. Mourinho signed Cech during his first spell whereas Rodgers didn't sign Mignolet so probably didn't have the faith in him that previous managers had. 

But the similarities are there to see. Two highly-rated goalkeepers vying for one position and the manager facing a big decision over who he selects for the number one spot. Does he go for the elder one or younger one?

It's hard to see why Mourinho will have brought Courtois back to Stamford Bridge when the Belgian is only 22, and the manager has no intention of playing him regularly. But a goalkeeper of Cech's quality is likely to attract interest, probably in the same way Reina attracted interest at Liverpool. It's hard to see one of them remaining on the bench for the season ahead. 

It's going to be fascinating to see how Mourinho handles the situation going into the new season, and to see if there any similarities to the way his apprentice did it on Merseyside. 

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