One of the Premier League’s most valuable goalkeepers intends to swap his role with one titan of a football club for another. Petr Cech, a legendary goalkeeper with Chelsea, is moving towards a transfer that will put the 33 year old as the starter for Arsenal, the archrivals of his soon to be former team.
Cech was relegated to second fiddle at Stamford Bridge this season, but wants to continue his career as a starter. An offer to start with Manchester United was in the works earlier in June, but Cech is insistent on remaining in London, making Arsenal the number one target for the three time Premier League Golden Glove winner.
Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho was reluctant to let Cech play under the direction of archrival Arsene Wenger, but the keeper was insistent. According to the Daily Mail, Cech requested a guarantee that he becomes the number one bet in net for the Gunners when the new season begins in the fall.
Wenger agreed to those terms as part of a reported £11 million offer for Cech, which means one of Arsenal’s two keepers will likely be shown the door before August. The question now becomes, who will not play at Emirates in the fall – David Ospina or Wojciech Szczesny.
The odds would point to Ospina as the fall man to ensure Cech’s transfer to Emirates. The 26 year old Ospina played his first season of a four year deal with Arsenal, making 20 appearances with the club this year – slightly less than Szczesny’s 29 starts for the Gunners.
Szczesny has been a part of Arsenal since joining the senior team in 2009, with the exception of a short term loan to Brentford during the 2009-10 football season. His history with the club should convince Wenger to keep Szczesny with the squad, and shop Ospina around to make room for Cech.
However, if the deal with Cech does go ahead, Szczesny will be relegated to backup. The label of permanent backup will be an adjustment for Szczesny, but the 25 year old remains committed to Arsenal for a long career.