Chelsea's John Obi Mikel welcomes the return of Thibaut Courtois

Courtois Chelsea

John Obi Mikel acknowledges that Chelsea are fortunate to have two fine goalkeepers on their books, but considers Thibaut Courtois to be 'world-class'.

John Obi Mikel has told Chelsea’s official website that the return of ‘world-class’ Thibaut Courtois has been welcomed by those at Stamford Bridge.

The Belgium international has been nursing a thumb complaint, with the Blues wary of pushing him into competitive action.

Courtois was, however, recalled for a Capital One Cup semi-final clash with Liverpool on Tuesday, and put in an eye-catching display at Anfield.

His efforts helped Chelsea to hold the Reds to a 1-1 draw ahead of a return date in west London.

Mikel says the goalkeeper’s heroics on Merseyside should come as no surprise, with the 22-year-old proving himself to be a worthy successor to Petr Cech – who had fared admirably while covering between the sticks.

He told the club’s official website: “We’ve got Petr Cech who has come in for Thibaut since he’s been injured and done really well.

“Thibaut showed what a world-class goalkeeper he is. He’s been doing that all season, save after save. It’s good to have him back and the team as well all did a job.”

Courtois has been a standout performer for Chelsea, with Jose Mourinho welcoming him back after three seasons on loan at La Liga champions Atletico Madrid.

Cech can consider himself unfortunate to be have been knocked down the pecking order, but can have few complaints having witnessed the displays of his rival.

Chelsea have kept a Premier League-high 11 clean sheets this season, with Courtois an assured presence as their last line of defence.

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