In a move that has rumbled on since the season ended, even a little before that, Petr Cech has completed his transfer to Arsenal from Chelsea. The player, who has been searching for first team soccer since becoming a regular on the bench behind Thibaut Courtios, has been linked with a host of clubs this summer.
Ultimately, Arsenal ticks all of the boxes for him. They have Champions League next season, will potentially challenge for the EPL title, and have an available spot in the net. While David Ospina and Wojciech Szczesny are both solid goalkeepers, neither is quite on the level of Petr Cech.
Add in the fact that Arsenal are signing him for a reported £11m and you have one of the bargains of the summer already.
So what next for Petr Cech? Well, first off, he is saying goodbye to a club he has won everything at. A club that he is, and should be, a legend at.
— Petr Cech (@PetrCech) June 29, 2015
While this message might not have assuaged every fan, many will look at this correctly and wish him well. Once he has settled in at his new club, he will need to look to stay at his best. The starting spot in goal is undoubtedly his to lose, but both Ospina and Szczesny will be constantly breathing down his neck. A few bad games in a row will see him relegated to the bench again (if only for a few games).
As for Arsenal, Petr Cech serves as a great morale boost ahead of an important season, but, to be completely honest, doesn’t serve as too much more than that. Petr Cech is a great goalkeeper. He remains one of the best in the league even. The problem lies with what kind of goals were scored last season.
Both of the men that Cech is replacing are incredibly competent. The types of goals scored were down to pressure allowed from the defense, not terrible goalkeeping. That is why I am skeptical of John Terry’s claim that “[Petr Cech] will save them 12 to 15 points a season”. Maybe half that.
Arsenal simply didn’t have too much room to improve in the net. A player who would save them that many point a season would be a proper world class defensive midfielder or a world class central defender. That is where their problems lie most.
As for Chelsea, they’re going to do what Chelsea do. They have already bid for Asmir Begovic, who would frankly be wasted on the bench at Chelsea. It is clear that Chelsea will look to, and most certainly succeed in, signing a top class backup goalkeeper this summer to replace Cech.