The impeding signing of Petr Cech could finally resolve a goalkeeping predicament which has been well evident at Arsenal since the loss of Jens Lehmann back in 2008. Many have tried to fill the charismatic German’s shoes but unfortunately for Arsene Wenger, none have managed to seize the initiative and carry the mantle. David Opsina and Wojciech Szczęsny will be on red alert and contemplating their respected futures as Cech’s move edges closer to completion.
The £11m fee for Cech is a bargain and at 33, Cech will instil calmness, experience and a winning mentality into the Arsenal dressing room. The former Rennes man has seen it all and won it all during his trophy-filled 11 year spell at Stamford Bridge, his leadership will be vital and joins only Danny Welbeck as the only Arsenal players to lift the much coveted Barclays Premier League trophy.
After being Jose Mourinho’s undisputed number one for both of the Portuguese’s stints in charge of Chelsea, Cech had to endure a frustrating campaign as talented Belgian stopper Thibaut Courtois ousted him and earned the number one jersey. With Courtois being instilled as Mourinho’s go to man, Cech felt a move this summer was imperative. The Czech giant was eager to stay in London for family purposes and never really contemplated a move up north or abroad. Cech is reportedly delighted with Roman Abramovich for not standing in his way and accepting his desire to remain in London and move to fierce title rivals Arsenal. Mourinho will be riled that he has lost one of his influential figures to a title rival. For all of Chelsea’s successful wheeling and dealing the departure of Cech to Arsenal could be the one that comes back to haunt them.
Chelsea captain John Terry revealed that he and his fellow team mates would be sad to see Cech go, he told radio station Talksport: “There is obviously talk of Arsenal signing Petr and if they do get Pete, that will strengthen them for sure. He will save them 12 to 15 points a season. “I am sure if he does leave the club, which nobody wants to see, but we understand he wants to play football, he is going to be sorely missed. He will improve whatever side he goes to.” The capture of Petr Cech could galvanise Arsenal and breed confidence within their star studied group which could finally make them launch a serious assault on Chelsea’s Premier League trophy.
Cech’s physical presence and commanding aura will give Arsenal’s backline a much needed boost which hasn’t been present at the Emirates for what feels an eternity. The likes of Fabianski, Mannone, Szczesny and Ospina all possessed talent but their calamitous nature and immaturity came back to haunt Arsenal on too many occasions. The signing of Petr Cech draws similarities to Sir Alex Ferguson’s signing of experienced Dutch stopper Edwin Van Der Sar in 2005. At the age of 35, Manchester United signed Van Der Sar from Fulham and questions were quickly raised over United’s short term focus. The signing of Van Der Sar proved to be a revelation and the veteran conjured up a fantastic defensive understanding with colossal defensive duo Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic. The Dutch keeper went on to claim four league titles and one European Cup during his six years at Old Trafford and Ferguson was labelled as a mastermind for securing Van Der Sar’s services.
Arsenal fans will be delighted that Arsene Wenger may have finally ended the goalkeeping hoodoo. The signing of Petr Cech will make Arsenal’s rivals stand up and take notice that Wenger’s latest signing is a significant positive step. Reports are circulating that a defensive minded midfielder and a prolific world class striker are high on Wenger’s summer agenda. The likes of Morgan Schneiderlin, Alexandre Lacazette and Gonzalo Higuain have been heavily linked with a move to the Emirates this summer, the signing of Cech could well be the beginning of a blockbuster summer for the Arsenal fans.