Former Manchester United goalkeeper Edwin van der Sar has claimed that Chelsea youngster Thibaut Courtois must improve his ability to “coach” his defence on the pitch if he is to become the best goalkeeper in the world, reports the Express.
The Belgian youngster is considered one of the brightest talents in Europe between the sticks, but Van der Sar has played down talk that the 22-year-old is already the best in the world.
“Courtois’ progress hasn’t surprised me,” said the Dutchman.
“He has performed fantastically, when you see what he has already achieved at his age – I was already 23 when I got into Ajax’ first squad.
“You have to admire him because he has convinced Jose Mourinho to pick him above Petr Cech – it must have been a difficult decision to push a legend like Cech aside.”
Courtois displaced Blues legend Cech at the start of this season, having returned from an impressive loan spell with Atletico Madrid, winning La Liga under Diego Simeone.
However, Van der Sar insisted that the youngster must improve his ability to control and communicate with his defence if he is to become the world’s greatest goalkeeper.
“Is Courtois already the best in the world, like some say in Belgium? They say that too easily nowadays,” he said.
“In my period the Dutch also thought I was the best in the world. The most important thing is that Courtois keeps on performing on a consistent, high level. He’s on the right track.
“His career is going ‘crescendo’, but he has some aspects in which he still can make progress.
“His coaching for instance. His composure is excellent, but there’s a difference between shouting and coaching. Shouting is pretending, coaching is all about helping your team.”