Tottenham legend: Chelsea can’t win the title without this player

Garth Crooks says Thibaut Courtois is producing world-class form for Chelsea again

Garth Crooks says Chelsea can’t win the Premier League title without Thibaut Courtois.

Antonio Conte’s side hoisted themselves above Liverpool and into top spot in the Premier League table on Sunday afternoon thanks to a 1-0 victory over Middlesbrough at the Riverside Stadium.

Diego Costa scored a 41st-minute winner to seal three points for the visitors in Sunday’s clash as Courtois made a couple of saves to deny Boro.

Courtois has now kept six successive clean sheets to help Chelsea piece together a six-game winning run in the Premier League title race.

Former Tottenham forward Crooks believes Courtois has unearthed some world-class form ahead of the visit of Spurs at Stamford Bridge next weekend.

“Thibaut Courtois is starting to look as safe as houses again. He only had two real saves to make in the entire match against Middlesbrough and he was equal to the test,” Crooks wrote in his BBC Sport column.

“The Belgium international had his difficulties last season and was being asked to play like a sweeper at times in order for his defence to hold a high line, which didn’t suit him at all.

“But now he is performing in a new-look back five and looking like a top-class keeper again. And we all know you can’t win the Premier League title without one.”

Courtois returned to Chelsea from a three-season loan at Atletico Madrid in 2014 as the Belgian became the west London side’s number one shot stopper.

The Blues goalkeeper played a vital role in Chelsea’s 2014-15 Premier League title triumph under Jose Mourinho.

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Chelsea are a point ahead of second-placed Liverpool.

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