It’s a real spectacle when a top player from a top club is the subject of a tug-of-war between two direct rivals. Petr Cech, Chelsea’s outstanding goalkeeper of the last decade, has got the stage where he no longer feels wanted and wants to therefore leave Stamford Bridge. The two clubs pursuing him? Arsenal and Manchester United.
There are a few others as well in the fray, including Paris Saint-Germain and Besiktas. But a move to the Premier League would be best suited to Cech, who has his family settled in London. Also, in what is set to be the last move of his career, he wouldn’t go too much out of his comfort zone. Jose Mourinho has stated that he doesn’t want to sell his keeper to another Premier League side, but if the right offer comes along, he won’t have any option but to let the big man go. With just one year left on the contract of the 32 year-old, it won’t take too high a fee to tempt Chelsea. Thibaut Courtois has replaced Cech as the number 1 in Mourinho’s side, and the Blues won’t pass up an opportunity to earn some good money for a benchwarmer.
Earlier in the week, it looked like Arsenal were the only Premier League club in the race for Cech. Yesterday, though, it was reported that Man United too are plotting a shock move for the Czech international, after David De Gea edged closer to a move to Real Madrid.
Arsenal can’t afford to let go
For years now, Arsenal have failed in the pursuits of their biggest targets, players who single-handedly win them the league. They have a lot of talent, but they need more experience to add some know-how to their squad. Not one of their squad members from this season has ever been a Premier League champion. Cech has 4 to his name. There is no doubt that Wojciech Szczesny and David Ospina are good goalkeepers, but they do not possess the consistency and quality to last an entire season. Cech has been one of the best goalkeepers in the whole of Europe in the last decade, and has single-handedly won Chelsea some huge matches. He may be 32, but he has 4-5 seasons at the top level left in him at the very least. After all, Sir Alex Ferguson signed Edwin van der Sar at the age of 35, and the Dutchman won 4 league titles at Old Trafford.
United too need someone with such quality to replace De Gea, who has by far been the Red Devils’ best player this season. Without the Spaniard, their league position could have been lower by a couple of places, such has been his impact. But when Real Madrid come calling, it’s hardly easy to say no, and De Gea looks set to plying his trade at the Santiago Bernabeu next season.
This battle for Cech is very important for Arsenal, because it will show their intent to kick on from a very promising campaign. They are in line to finish 2nd, and with a bit of quality and experience in the right positions, they will equipped to challenge for the title next year. In the past, Arsene Wenger has been criticised time and time again for selling his best players to direct rivals. The fact that Arsenal haven’t won the league in 11 years, while the players he has sold have achieved big success, proves that that criticism is completely valid.
For Chelsea, ideally, Cech will leave for a foreign club. If his next destination is in England though, the Gunners must make sure he comes to the Emirates.