Chelsea's goalkeeping coach Christophe Lollichon has revealed to RMC that Petr Cech is finding it “difficult” to be second-choice to Thibaut Courtois.
Cech, 32, had been Chelsea’s undisputed number one since joining from Rennes in 2004 for £7 million, making 477 appearances during his first 10 seasons in North London, while winning three Premier League titles, four FA Cups, three League Cups, the 2012 Champions League and the 2013 Europa League.
Jose Mourinho opted to hand the starting role to the promising Courtois at the start of the new campaign, however, following three seasons spent on loan at Atletico Madrid, with the Belgian keeper since proving himself one of the game’s leading shot-stoppers.
The Czech Republic international has been restricted to just 13 appearances this term as a result and Lollichon, who reunited with his tutee at Stamford Bridge in 2007 after coaching him at Rennes, believes he has handled the situation with pure class.
"Since the start of the season, we've known that we have two of the three or four best goalkeepers in the world," he said. "Whether it's one or the other who plays, it doesn't change anything. They are two big goalkeepers both in terms of size and talent.
"Of course it's difficult for Cech, who has been first-choice for 14 years in the clubs he's been at and who has been voted the Premier League's best goalkeeper several times, to be passed by a 22-year-old kid. He's a great pro who doesn't complain to the press, and who prepares himself as if he were going to play the next match."
A Chelsea departure has been mooted in recent months for Cech, despite Jose Mourinho’s desire to keep him at the club, with the Telegraph naming Arsenal, Liverpool and Roma as potential suitors during the winter transfer window.
The latest club to be linked to his signature is Rafa Benitez’s Napoli, per Sportsmediaset, with the pair well-acquitted from the Spaniard’s time in charge of the Blues during the second half of the 2012-13 season.