If football club managers and owners could foretell the future, certain decisions would probably not be made. And If long-term loyalty could be added to player purchase clauses, some of them probably wouldn’t join.
For Thibaut Courtois, coming to Chelsea was perhaps never about love and admiration, but a strategic decision, taken to boost his career. I remember his loan days at Atletico Madrid; even when his loan with them was done, and he was expected to return to Stamford Bridge, he seemed uninterested, and eventually cornered the club into selling Peter Cech for him.
Of course, I understand that he had every right to protect his future, after all, the game is also a business, but even in business, sometimes, we can’t allow sentiments becloud our judgment.
Ever since last season, Courtois has wanted to leave Chelsea for Real Madrid, and while I cannot say I do not understand his reasons, I cannot say the same about the manner in which he has conducted himself over the issue in the last one year or so. The man has taken to behaving irrationally as a way of trying to force Chelsea into selling him to his dream club. First, he allowed his manager go public with an in- house matter, and then he refused to show up for training, knowing well there’s a new coach who wants to talk to him, and there’s an ongoing contract with Chelsea. It has been the most unprofessional behaviour from a man of his status and age, and one that has the potential to ruin whatever relationship he creates with both the club’s management and fans.
Eventually, every player gets to leave when they want, but how you go about it matters a lot. Courtois has gone about his push for a Chelsea exit in a rather heartbreaking manner, and by that, shown he has felt no connection to the club and its fans in his many years of working there.
He may have gotten his wish to move to Spain, but then, for many Chelsea fans, he will be forever seen as disloyal and a traitor.