A top-class goalkeeper can sometimes be the difference between success and failure.
Take Liverpool last season. They may have won the Champions League if it weren’t for Loris Karius’ two howlers in the final.
And now Chelsea face a tough decision with their star goalkeeper, Thibaut Courtois, as it seems his mind is set on leaving Stamford Bridge.
Real Madrid seems the likely destination for the Belgian No.1, with Florentino Perez keen to sign a “galáctico” goalkeeper – their first since Iker Casillas.
So why should new manager Maurizio Sarri wipe his hands of Courtois and move on with a different goalkeeper all together?
The reported £35million transfer fee offered by Real Madrid is something they cannot ignore.
Courtois only has a year left on his current contract and to avoid the possibility of letting him leave on a free, Chelsea should cash in now with time still available to sign a replacement.
Also, despite his performances for Belgium at this years World Cup, there have always been questions about Courtois’ shot-stopping ability.
Therefore, this situation presents them with an opportunity to sign a talented keeper – Jack Butland, Kasper Schmeichel and Jan Oblak have been linked – who may actually improve the team.
And most importantly, Courtois’ main skill is his ability to command his penalty area under high balls.
And with Sarri’s preference for a back-four, there will most likely be fewer crosses coming in with specific full-back able to stop the supply.
As a result, Sarri may decide to cash in on Courtois’ high transfer value and buy a replacement that is more inline with his philosophy.