When Petr Čech arrived in England in 2004, Carlo Cudicini was widely regarded as one of the best goalkeepers in the country.
Unfortunately for the Italian, Čech signed for Chelsea and replaced him.
Lightning struck twice at Stamford Bridge as young Thibaut Courtois returned from a year on loan at Atlético Madrid to take Čech’s place last summer. Chelsea’s competition for the number one shirt ended up being Arsenal’s gain, and Cudicini feels the Gunners have made a brilliant move.
“He’s a very experienced goalkeeper both in Europe and the Premier League,” Cudicini told Omnisport. “He’s been one of the best goalkeepers now for around 10 years and he still is. He can definitely give confidence to the team.”
The first sign of that came on Monday evening. With Arsenal struggling and Liverpool beginning to pile on the pressure, Čech made two brilliant saves to keep the score at 0-0.
Christian Benteke and Philippe Coutinho could barely believe it as Čech got down low to a close-range effort from the Belgian before tipping a fiercely struck shot from Coutinho onto the post.
Arsenal survived, thanks to their new goalkeeper.
“He did very well on Monday against Liverpool,” said Cudicini, “and he’s already got the first trophy with Arsenal so obviously he’s a great player for them.”
If Monday’s performance was anything to go by, Arsenal’s signing of a 33 year-old for £11m was a bargain. Time will tell on that front.