Courtois departs

Thibaut Courtois has completed his transfer to Real Madrid.

The move brings to an end his four-year spell as Chelsea’s first-choice goalkeeper, a period in which he won four major honours with the Blues.

The Belgian departs Stamford Bridge having helped us lift two Premier League titles, one FA Cup and one League Cup. On an individual note, Courtois picked up the Premier League’s Golden Glove award at the end of the 2016/17 title-winning season after keeping 16 clean sheets.

Courtois initially moved to Stamford Bridge from Belgian side Genk in the summer of 2011, before spending three seasons on loan at Atletico Madrid, where he gained regular first-team football and was part of a team that won a number of trophies, including the La Liga title in 2014.

It was following that particular success he returned to Chelsea, ahead of our Premier League-winning 2014/15 campaign, with then-manager Jose Mourinho making him first choice ahead of the long-serving Petr Cech.

He enjoyed a wonderful 2016/17 campaign as we won the Premier League title for the second time in three years, with his quality and consistency a crucial factor in the 13-game victorious run which went a long way to helping us cement our position at the top of the table.

His 16th clean sheet of the campaign, which earned Courtois the Golden Glove, arrived at the Hawthorns as the Blues were crowned champions courtesy of his Belgian team-mate Michy Batshuayi’s winning goal. Unfortunately, though, the Double proved elusive as we were beaten by Arsenal in the FA Cup final, with Courtois starting in the 2-1 defeat.

It was fitting that the Belgian’s final Chelsea appearance ended with him picking up another winner’s medal - and keeping another clean sheet - as we made up for the previous season’s disappointment by lifting the FA Cup courtesy of a 1-0 win over Man United, which landed the stopper his fourth major trophy with us.

Courtois departs Stamford Bridge having made 154 appearances for the club, keeping 58 clean sheets. He has played an important role in the club’s success, and we wish him the best of luck for the future.

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