Arsenal fans are celebrating a day they knew was coming for some time: Petr Cech Day.
Arsenal signed Cech from Chelsea on Monday, the Gunners announced on their website. Rumors of Cech’s transfer to Arsenal have been swirling for months, and the veteran goalkeeper finally has completed the move to North London, ending an 11-year career at Chelsea.
“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,” Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger told the club’s website. “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.”
“I?m really excited about joining Arsenal Football Club and can’t wait to join up for preseason,” Cech told Arsenal.com. “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 officially signs with Arsenal on a “long-term contract” after the Gunners paid an undisclosed transfer fee to Chelsea, but reporters have revealed details of the terms under which the 33-year-old leaves Stamford Bridge for the Emirates Stadium.
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Few goalkeepers can match Cech’s record of success in the Premier League, but Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho relegated Cech to second string following Thibaut Courtois’ arrival and emergence as his No. 1 at Stamford Bridge. Cech dutifully performed backup duties for almost all of Chelsea’s triumphant campaign in 2014-15, and Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich allowed the Czech shot-stopper to choose his next move out of respect for his years of service to the Blues.
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David Ospina and Wojciech Szczesny currently are Arsenal’s incumbent goalkeepers, but neither earned the full faith of Wenger or fans. Cech is expected to supplant both of them. Ospina was Arsenal’s starter in Premier League and Champions League play in the second half of last season. Arsenal is expected to retain Szczesny but sell Ospina before the summer transfer market closes.
Thumbnil photo via Twitter/@Eurosport_UK