Saturday, 16 July 2011

Who is Thibaut Courtois?

With the position of Goalkeeper high on the list of priorities of most Premier League clubs in the transfer market this summer, noticeable examples include Manchester United; who brought in David De Gea from Athletico Madrid, Arsenal; who are content with their decision to make Wojciech Szczesny their new number one, and even Aston Villa; who are trying to tie up a deal for Manchester City ‘keeper Shay Given. A transfer was completed this afternoon for a club who were unlikely to be filling the Goalkeeper void anytime soon, but have brought in one of the most promising young goalkeepers in European football to West London; Thibaut Courtois from Belgian champions Racing Genk.

New manager in charge at Stamford Bridge, Andres Villas-Boas, has finalised the signing for the Premier League runner-up Chelsea, who have spent £7.9 million on the 19 year old. Racing Genk’s director spoke of the deal explaining; “We received an enormous offer that gave us no choice but to let our goalkeeper leave, but I have mixed feelings about this transfer. Genk wanted Thibaut to stay a bit longer."

Thibaut Courtois is 19 years old, standing at a giant 6ft 6in. He has no other international experience at any level for Belgium, apart from 4 caps for the Under 18’s squad. He spent 10 years with the Genk youth team before making his first team debut against Gent in 2009. He has gone on to make 41 appearances for the first team, and was the number one choice last season on route to Genk winning the 2010/11 Jupiler Pro League (Belgian Premiership if you will). While in goal he only conceded 32 goals in 40 appearances while between the sticks.

Chelsea fans can expect Courtois to be the second or maybe third choice goalkeeper for foreseeable future, he’ll be competing with Hilario (who signed a new deal with the club last month) as well as Ross Turnbull, who has two years remaining on his current deal. All that's left Courtois is too agree personal terms, and then he will complete his move.

Here’s all you need to know

Age: 19 years old

Date of birth: 11/05/1992

Nationality: Belgian

Position: Goalkeeper

Club: Chelsea

Previous Club: Genk

Club Apps: 41 Club Goals: 0

Transfer Fee: £7.9million

Here’s a video of Thibaut Courtois in action

Real Talk Football

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