After the Gunners secured back-to-back FA Cup triumphs last season, Arsene Wenger’s side are firmly focused on finishing the 2015-16 Premier League season as champions of England. Arsenal, who finished third in the top flight last term, are more than capable of competing against the likes of Manchester City, Manchester United and current holders Chelsea in the transfer market and are certain to strengthen this summer. In fact, the Gunners may acquire Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech, despite Jose Mourinho’s earlier claims that the Czech shot-stopper would remain at Stamford Bridge.
With a possible transfer across London on the cards, the 33-year-old will bring heaps of Premier League experience to Emirates Stadium and, according to Blues captain John Terry, the goalkeeper would be worth ’12 to 15 points’ for the Gunners. If the deal goes through, Arsenal must be labelled as genuine title contenders and it will be interesting to see how Wenger’s men shape up in the Premier League betting markets prior to their first match of the season against London rivals West Ham United.
There is no doubt that, although he is past his prime, Petr Cech remains a very good goalkeeper and would slot into the majority of Premier League clubs. Mourinho himself stated that Chelsea knew that they could rely on the veteran if Thibaut Courtois was to pick up any injury problems. But Cech, who has won four Premier League titles at Stamford Bridge, deserves so much more than a handful of appearances. The 33-year-old is as fearless as ever and dominates his penalty area.
The jury has been out on Arsenal’s current crop of goalkeepers for quite some time, but the arrival of Cech would all but sort out their long-standing problem. Wojciech Szczesny is a naturally talented shot-stopper but has off-field problems continue to give Arsene Wenger a headache, while David Ospina – who only joined the Gunners last summer – appears to be on his way out of the club. The 26-year-old performed admirably throughout the second half of this campaign as Arsenal went on an incredible unbeaten run but Cech’s pedigree means that he will pursue first-team football elsewhere.
So, is Cech the player who could make the difference for Arsenal in their pursuit of the Premier League title this season? Well, he’d certainly provide a confident pair of hands between the posts – which would ease the worries of many supporters across the country. Most fans still believe that, in order to compete with City, United and Chelsea, the Gunners need a world-class striker that will score at least 20 goals a season. Alexis Sanchez was scintillating at times last term, but Lyon forward Alexandre Lacazette – who netted an incredible 31 goals in all competitions throughout the 2014-15 campaign – could ultimately be the key difference that will help Arsenal secure victories and provide some much needed support for the Chilean in attack. Cech will definitely help their chances but Arsenal must purchase a lethal goalscorer if they are to lift the title at the end of the campaign.