Over the years, there have been plenty of brilliant goalkeepers that have pulled on the Chelsea shirt, whether they have been challenging for Champions League glory or consolidating top-flight survival.
There’s one name that particularly sticks out in everyone’s mind but it would be rude to mention his name here so you’ll have to carry on reading to find out. Thibaut Courtois would be considered by many as one of the best but as he still plays for the 2012 Champions League winners, he won’t be included in the top three. Here are the three best goalkeepers to have pulled on the number one jersey for Chelsea.
Many football fans remember Cudicini being the understudy to Petr Cech during the later years of his Chelsea career but when he signed for the Blues on a permanent basis in 2000, he was certainly the first choice as he knocked Dmitri Kharine off his perch as their number one. The Italian was brought in under Gianluca Vialli and in the 2001/02 season, he was voted as Chelsea’s Player of the Season, as well as saving two penalties in the space of a week as he prevented Kevin Phillips and Gary McAllister from scoring from the spot during that campaign.
He is seen by many Chelsea fans as the best goalkeeper prior to Roman Abramovich and Jose Mourinho arriving at Stamford Bridge as he was demoted to the second-choice keeper when Cech was signed from Rennes in Mourinho’s first transfer window. Despite being the number two, he didn’t leave West London until 2009 when he moved to North London to play for Tottenham.
Ed de Goey
Another goalkeeper that was part of the Blues side before they were taken over by a certain Russia billionaire and Ed de Goey was part of the team that transformed from an average Premier League outfit into one that would challenge for European football. Not only did the Dutch stopper get his hands on an FA Cup winners’ medal in 2000, but he also broke the club records for the number of appearances and clean sheets in a single season with 59 and 27 respectively. It was then Cudicini who replaced him as the club’s best goalkeeper as de Goey played just 25 times in his last three seasons before he was released in 2003, just before the trophies started to come thick and fast.
There aren’t many better Premier League goalkeepers than Petr Cech and there certainly aren’t any better Chelsea keepers than the Czech legend. At the time of signing, he was the most expensive shot-stopper to ever pull on the Blues shirt at £7 million (what a bargain that would be in the current market!). In his first season, he broke a long-standing top-flight record as he went 1,025 minutes without conceding a single league goal, which contributed towards him winning the Golden Glove award as Chelsea won the league in Mourinho’s first season as manager.
Cech went on to win three more Golden Gloves during his 11-year stint with Chelsea, as well as a huge list of personal and club honours, including the Man of the Match award in the 2012 UEFA Champions League Final. Despite fracturing his skull in a league match in 2006, he made a very strong return to first-team action and his headguard is now a well-known symbol of the Arsenal keeper. He left for their London rivals in 2015 as Arsene Wenger brought the 35-year-old in as the Gunners’ number one goalkeeper; however, his performances have been questioned at the Emirates.
There isn’t a single Blues fan who would moan about any of his performances at Stamford Bridge and they are struggling to understand why Arsenal fans don’t rate him. He is undoubtedly Chelsea’s best ever goalkeeper and while Courtois is having a great time in West London, he will have to be something special to knock Cech off top spot.