The long drawn saga of Chelsea legend Petr Cech’s move to London rivals Arsenal has finally been put to rest as both clubs and the player have confirmed the deal. The Czech shot-stopper has signed a long-term deal with the Gunners for an undisclosed fee.
Cech passed a medical at Arsenal earlier today and the deal was announced soon after.
The 33-year-old spent 11 years at Chelsea where he won numerous trophies including a Champions League, 4 Premier League titles, 1 Europa League, 4 FA Cups, and 3 League Cups.
On joining the North London club, Cech said through the Arsenal official website: “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 Arsène Wenger spoke to me about his ambitions for this club, and how he saw me as part of this team, the decision was clear.”
In addition, Arsene Wenger commented on his latest signing saying: “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.”
Cech was Chelsea’s first choice goalkeeper for 10 of those years. He displaced Carlo Cudicini on his arrival in 2004 and was himself replaced by the Belgian Thibaut Courtois last season. The lack of first team opportunities seem to have spurred Cech’s move away from West London.
Chelsea allowed the goalkeeper to speak to other clubs over a month ago despite coach Jose Mourinho and several within club ranks insisting that they would like the legend to stay at Stamford Bridge. They have also praised his professionalism despite only having made only 16 appearances for the Blues last season.
Arsenal have two goalkeepers among their ranks – David Ospina and Wojciech Szczesny. However, Ospina has been linked with a move away from the club in anticipation of Cech’s arrival.
His decision to move to Arsenal, however, has drawn the ire of some Chelsea fans. The Czech custodian seemingly had other options elsewhere in Europe but decided to stay in London in an attempt not to uproot his family who are settled in England.Published 29 Jun 2015, 20:06 IST