Chelsea have been caught in the crossfire following Kylian Mbappe’s decision to reject a move to Real Madrid this summer. Thibaut Courtois fired an indirect jibe at the Blues in light of the Paris Saint-Germain forward’s decision, claiming that he was ‘dying for years’ to join Los Blancos during his time in west London.
The Belgium international featured 154 times for the Blues during his seven-year spell at Stamford Bridge, keeping 58 clean sheets in the process. To the Chelsea fans’ displeasure, his impressive displays for the Blues quickly earned Courtois a move to the Santiago Bernbaeu.
With just a year remaining on his contract, Real Madrid signed the now-30-year-old for just £ 31million. Though, while Chelsea struggled to compensate for the shot-stopper’s exit, Frank Lampard finally signed Edouard Mendy to solve the club’s goalkeeping woes.
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Speaking on his decision to leave Chelsea and join Real Madrid ahead of the Spanish side’s Champions League final against Liverpool on Saturday, Courtois insisted that he knows the value of playing for the historic club amid Mbappe’s snub. He said: “Each player makes their own choices and decisions, and no one can know why they make them. I, personally, was dying for years, because I wanted to come to Real Madrid, and now I know how special it is to play at Real Madrid. “
Though, amid the saga that followed Mbappe’s decision to palm away a move to Spain, the France international confirmed that he isn’t ruling out a move to Real Madrid in the future. When asked if signing a new contract at PSG meant the Real Madrid dream was over, he said: “Never over.”
So, PSG can learn a lot from how Chelsea managed the aftermath of Courtois’ exit should Mbappe too complete his’ dream ‘move to the Spanish giants. The Blues fought fire with fire and struggled, with Kepa Arrizabalaga arriving for a world-record fee.
With Petr Cech’s help, Chelsea took a step back, completed a tactically astute signing and Mendy took center-stage between the sticks at Stamford Bridge. And, Tuchel has praised the club’s former goalkeeper for his role in the deal.
The Chelsea boss said: “Of course credit goes to the club and to Petr Cech, who opted for these possibilities and who saw the potential. Eddie in goal, (laughs) he’s saved us a few times but that’s what these top keepers do, the guy is world class. “
So, with Courtois firing Chelsea a jibe and confessing his career dream to join Real Madrid – unbeknownst to the west Londoners at the time – PSG must be prepared to try to avoid falling into a similar trap to the Blues.