Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho may have a difficult choice to make at the end of the season after Thibaut Courtois made it clear that he would not play understudy to current number one Petr Cech.
The Belgian goalkeeper is currently spending his third successive season on-loan at Atletico Madrid and has once again been outstanding at the start of the campaign to help the club win their opening eight league games.
Chelsea signed Courtois from Genk for £7m in 2011 but have made it clear to the young stopper that he is well behind Cech in the pecking order and rather than him simply sitting on the bench, saw fit for him to be loaned to Atletico.
He has excelled at the Spanish club and last season outperformed Iker Casillas and Victor Valdes to win the coveted Zamora award for best goals against ratio, conceding just 29 goals in 37 appearances.
The 21 year old has clearly alerted a number of major clubs to his talent but with Cech only signing a new four year deal last year, there have been questions raised over when he will be handed a chance at Chelsea.
And now Courtois has suggested that he is not prepared to be back-up to the 31 year old when his loan spell with Atletico ends next year.
"I want to play, I will not be sitting on the bench," stated Courtois, as reported in the Evening Standard.
"At Atletico I feel great and being here allows me to play in the Champions League. I've grown a lot at Atletico, especially last season when we won the European Super Cup and the Copa del Rey.
"I've made great progress, especially in terms of speed, reflexes and experience. I am in my best form and I feel like I am among the five best goalkeepers in the world."
Mourinho has come under pressure for allowing Romelu Lukaku to go out on loan to Everton, especially with Fernando Torres, Demba Ba and Samuel Eto'o all struggling for goals.
The former Real Madrid boss will hope that he can keep the Belgian duo happy and he may be forced to assure them of regular first team football next season in order for them to commit their futures to the club.
Meanwhile another Belgian player at Chelsea, Kevin de Bruyne, has declared that he is ready to fight for his chance after slipping down the pecking order in recent weeks.
Of course not. I really don't worry. You make it more of a problem than I do," said De Bruyne. "Mourinho is the boss, he chooses who plays. We do not talk about it really, no. He tells me when I do something bad, but frankly I haven't heard such negative comments.
"I chose to stay (rather than go on loan again) and I have no regrets. Still, Willian then came in at the last minute, which was a bit difficult, but I continue to fight hard.
"My chance will come. I'm really not concerned about finding a solution in January. That we will have to see."
To report problems or to leave feedback about this article, e-mail:
To contact the editor, e-mail: