Petr Cech imminent Arsenal arrival to trigger transfer flurry at Emirates
Arsenal are on the verge of signing goalkeeper Petr Cech from Chelsea, which is likely to lead to further transfer activity as Arsene Wenger begins his summer recruitment.
The Czech Republic international will come in as number one and is a significant missing piece of the jigsaw for the Gunners, who have arguably needed to strengthen in at least two key areas for a number of years.
At his best, Cech developed a solid on-field relationship with a number of centre backs, including John Terry and this was without a doubt key to delivering a number of trophies for the Blues.
While there are question marks over whether Arsenal, 5/1 with Coral to win the Premier League next term, need to upgrade at centre back, Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny have more than enough ability to form a firm foundation with the incoming stopper.
Although this is a story which has rumbled on for a number of months, it means nothing until the transfer actually happens. If so, then as like last summer with the capture of Alexis Sanchez, expect everyone to sit up and take notice.
What this signing will do is act as a benchmark for attracting more top players throughout the summer, who should realise that the Gunners personify a force to be reckoned with across Europe.
The fee for Cech isn’t likely to be more than £14m; a lot for a 33-year-old; however, he is an exception and still regarded as one of the best goalkeepers in world football. This could be £14m that makes the difference between the Premier League title and another finish in the Champions League, and they are expected to recoup £4m by selling David Ospina to Turkish side Fenerbahce.
It would still leave Arsenal being able to virtually play monopoly in the transfer market, though instead, starting with Mayfair and moving backwards.
There have been calls for a holding midfielder and a centre forward, the only pre-requisites being that they are in the ‘world class’ bracket, just like Mesut Ozil and Sanchez.
This represents a number of problems. Firstly, these days, both are a rare breed. Finding a defensive midfielder who is disciplined enough to do what Claude Makelele did at Chelsea is hard. Even Morgan Schneiderlin roams forward and Alex Song when he was at Arsenal, wasn’t content with just sitting.
One report suggests Borussia Dortmund’s Sven Bender could be on his way to the Emirates. The Germany international has always been recognised as having world class potential, though has failed to really demonstrate it.
Links to Sevilla’s Polish midfielder, Grzegorz Krychowiak, however could be more credible, and there is no denying that the two-time Europa League winner would add steel to the Gunners in the heart of their team.
His buyout clause, which is in the region of £21.5m represents fantastic value for a player who was named in La Liga’s team of the season and at 25-years-old is a fantastic investment.
Which striker Wenger decides to bring in is anyone’s guess. Gonzalo Higuain, a past target no less, has once again been linked, as has Porto centre forward Jackson Martinez, though approaching 29, Arsenal are likely to be unwilling to take a risk on a player they are likely to have to pay a premium for.