Petr Cech has completed his long-rumored transfer between Premier League heavyweights, moving from Chelsea to Arsenal and signing a long-term contract at the North London club.
“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. 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,” Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger said in a statement.
Cech matured into one of the world's best goalkeepers after moving to Chelsea from Rennes in 2004, playing in the vast majority of games for the Blues over an eleven-season run with the club. However, Cech was relegated to a backup role behind Thibault Courtois last season.
With Chelsea, the goalkeeper won four Premier League titles, four FA Cups, three League Cups, the 2012 UEFA Champions League, and the 2013 UEFA Europa League. He kept the most clean sheets in the EPL on three occasions, most recently in 2013-14, and has been named in the PFA Team of the Year twice. He has also appeared 115 times for the Czech Republic's national team, second most all-time behind Karel Poborsky.
Cech is understandably beloved by Chelsea fans, who Cech thanked in a note he tweeted after the move was made official:
At 33 years old, Cech is not old for a goalkeeper, so Arsenal will look to him to bring stability to a position that has been a revolving door since Jens Lehmann left the club in 2008. Since then, Manuel Almunia, Lukasz Fabianski, Vito Mannone, and Wojciech Szczesny have enjoyed stints as the club's starter, with Szczesny playing the majority of games for the club over the last two seasons. David Ospina split time with Szczesny in net last year.