Asmir Begovic: Chelsea move will make me better

Asmir Begovic believes he will develop as a goalkeeper after swapping Stoke for Chelsea.

The 28-year-old has penned a four-year-deal with the Premier League champions, having been linked with a move to Stamford Bridge for much of the summer after Petr Cech departed for Arsenal.

The Bosnian established himself as the first-choice goalkeeper at the Britannia Stadium after joining from Portsmouth in 2010 but a move to Chelsea — where he will face a fight to displace the highly-rated Thibaut Courtois — could be seen by some as a strange decision.

But Begovic, who will wear the number one jersey at Stamford Bridge, insists he will not be purely making up the numbers in Jose Mourinho’s Stamford Bridge regime as he now prepares to join up with his new team-mates ahead of their pre-season tour to the United States.

“I am very happy to be joining Chelsea,” Begovic said.

“After speaking at length to the manager, I feel like I can develop here and be an important part of this team. I am looking forward to meeting up with the team on Wednesday for the pre-season tour.”

Begovic also issued a statement via social media thanking everyone at Stoke for his five years with the club and is ready to challenge himself with the champions.

“I have loved my time at Stoke, but feel I had to take this opportunity for me to continue to develop and challenge myself as a player,” he said.

“I am very proud of what we have achieved during my time at Stoke, and it has been a great team of players to work with.

“I wish you all the best for the season ahead.”

Stoke, who signed experienced Irish international goalkeeper Shay Given last week, also have young England international Jack Butland as an option to replace Begovic, with manager Mark Hughes also bringing in Chelsea midfielder Marco van Ginkel on loan.

Capped 41 times by Bosnia, Begovic, who scored for Stoke against Southampton in 2013, has the experience and Premier League knowhow to challenge Courtois for the goalkeeping berth in Mourinho’s side.

He replaces Cech, who left the Blues for London rivals Arsenal, and is the second summer arrival at Stamford Bridge following the loan signing of Monaco forward Radamel Falcao.


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