Veteran Chelsea stopper Petr Cech agrees Arsenal summer switch
Long-serving Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech has finally agreed a £10m switch to London rivals Arsenal, with his four-year deal ending a successful 11-year stay at Stamford Bridge, following the capturing of another Premier League title last season (6/4 with Coral to retain 2015/16 PL).
Arsene Wenger stated: “Petr Cech is a player that I have admired for a long time and I am very pleased that he has decided to join us. He has proven over many seasons that he is one of the outstanding keepers in the world and he will add great strength to our squad.”
— Arsenal FC (@Arsenal) June 29, 2015
The 33-year-old Czech Republic international outlined his desire to depart the Blues earlier this calendar year, having lost the number one position to Belgium stopper Thibaut Courtois this campaign, an unfamiliar scenario for the experienced three-time Golden Glove winner.
Cech added: “I’m really excited about joining Arsenal Football Club and can’t wait to join up for pre-season. I have the same commitment to football, the same motivation and the same hunger for success as I had at the beginning of my career, and I love the challenges brought by the top quality players you face while playing in the Premier League.
“When Arsene Wenger spoke to me about his ambitions for this club, and how he saw me as part of this team, the decision was clear.”
Cech’s arrival at the Emirates signals a genuine transfer scoop for Gunners boss Wenger, who had previously come under fire for a lack of silverware, but his new shot stopper will be joining the reigning FA Cup champions, after back-to-back Wembley crowns.
Wenger will hope such a high-profile acquisition can trigger several more arrivals this summer, as he seeks to successfully claim Arsenal’s first top-flight crown since 2004, the same year Cech joined Chelsea and are 5/1 to do so next term.
The Czech stopper is sure to take his place between the Arsenal sticks as number one, but the club will now possess three goalkeepers vying for that starting position, with Wojciech Szczesny and David Ospina set for a tough time in London.
— Petr Cech (@PetrCech) June 29, 2015
Since his £7m switch from Rennes over a decade ago, Cech has enjoyed a trophy-laden career at Chelsea, winning four Premier League titles, four FA Cup crowns, and both the Europa League and Champions League.
Wenger will hope Cech’s experience of lifting so much silverware can boost the Gunners’ chances of finally mounting a serious title challenge next term, with the Czech shot stopper having made over 300 top tier appearances in goal.
It was believed Jose Mourinho may have been keen to avoid letting Cech join his rivals, but as recent seasons have proved, the confident Blues boss isn’t shy of selling to fellow top-flight clubs, having granted Spaniard Juan Mata permission to sign for Manchester United in 2014.
Arsenal now undoubtedly hold one of the best goalkeepers in Europe within their ranks, despite reaching the age of 33, and could prove to be genuine Premier League contenders next season after his acquisition.