Wednesday 26 July 2017

Asmir Begovic calls for Premier League winners' medal rethink as Chelsea goalkeeper says he doesn't deserve one

Asmir Begovic doesn't believe that playing five league matches should warrant receiving a winners' medal. Getty
Asmir Begovic doesn't believe that playing five league matches should warrant receiving a winners' medal. Getty

Jack de Menezes

Asmir Begovic has reignited the debate over Premier League winners’ medals by admitting he doesn’t deserve to receive one this season, having made just two appearances for Chelsea in their title-winning season.

The 29-year-old has deputised for first-choice goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois just twice this season, coming in the games against Manchester United – when the Belgian was injured – and this week’s victory over Watford, where manager Antonio Conte made nine changes having already wrapped up the title.

Begovic’s future has come into question this year due to the lack of playing time he has been afforded, and his latest comments that question whether he deserves to join the celebrations – along with other players who have not featured regularly during Chelsea’s season – do no sound like the thoughts of a man who is preparing for a long stay with the club.

While Nathan Ake, Kenedy and Ola Aina will not receive winners’ medals despite playing for the club this season, Begovic will as the Premier League makes special dispensation for reserve goalkeepers to recognise the vital role they play during a season, despite the lack of appearances that usually come with the territory.

But that doesn’t seem to sit too well with the Bosnia-Herzegovina international, who admitted that while he will happily receive the medal, the process of how they are allocated should be looked at to reward players that have made a telling contribution towards winning the title.

“I think the rule should be changed, I don't know about the whole five appearances,” Begovic told Sky Sports.

“Having been part of the group all year, we've all sacrificed, played our part in the team each and every day.

“But they really have to look at that rule again because I don't think five appearances should warrant a medal.

“It's the rule for now, thankfully I get one and obviously to have that in your career is great.”

Begovic has been linked this season with a move to Bournemouth along with his current club captain, John Terry, with both looking likely to be on the move in the summer as Conte looks to strengthen his title-winning squad.

Terry’s exit has already been confirmed and the skipper is set to receive an emotional farewell this weekend in the game against Sunderland, and despite being linked with moves to China, the United States and Portugal, Bournemouth are still the heavy favourites to land his signature.

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