by Mosope Ominiyi
Arséne Wenger has publicly praised Petr Cech’s intelligence as well as his star quality, saying the 33-year-old goalkeeper is “built for English football.”
The Czech Republic international was signed by the Gunners for a transfer fee in the region of £11m after 11 years with Chelsea, where he established himself as one of their best ever players by giving 100% effort every time he stepped onto the pitch, regardless of the situation.
Wenger admitted Cech attracted his interest a number of seasons ago, but a deal failed to materialise in the end. As quoted by Arsenal.com, he said: “Before he went to Chelsea we were interested as the guy who brought him to Chelsea is a good friend of mine, one of the guys who was the agent and he told me there was an exceptional keeper at Rennes.”
Although they knew he was a very good goalkeeper at the time, “Chelsea were a bit quicker” in terms of sealing a deal to take him to the Premier League.
In 493 appearances for the Blues, he kept 228 clean sheets and despite the competition for the number one jersey with Thibaut Courtois this past term, was a model professional even when he was not involved with the starting eleven on matchdays.
Laurent Koscielny, amongst other players, has already admitted having Petr’s presence behind them has a calming effect and that they feel more comfortable that the backline is stronger with such an experienced ‘keeper in their ranks.
Wenger also stated that Cech has “a good combination between quality, agility and size” which is a strength in itself as he “looked like he was built for English football.”
Cech’s 33, and there is no doubt he can continue playing at the highest level of the game for at least another two or three years. Wenger meanwhile outlined this very point, saying the move “is a bit like Edwin van der Sar’s”, when the Dutchman made the switch from west London club Fulham to Manchester United but enjoyed a successful five or six years at Old Trafford before retiring.