Aged 32 years old, Petr Cech is entering what many consider to be the ‘peak age’ of a Goalkeeper. However, playing second fiddle is not something he wants to be a prolonged part of. With a decade of near unprecedented success with Chelsea, it might be time for Petr to move on, to a whole host of clubs vying desperately for his services.
Petr Cech finds himself, through no fault of his own, at a crossroads of destiny. On one side, he has built a near infallible legacy at Chelsea, winning nearly every single trophy that can be won. He is an integral pillar of strength upon which Roman Abramovich’s Chelsea has been able to scale the summit of English football. On the other, he finds himself playing the supporting act to one of the best young ‘keepers in the game today.
While his days at Chelsea are seemingly numbered, Cech still has miles to go before he eventually sleeps. His attributes as a winner, leader and quality shot stopper are all assets that are vitally required by a whole host of top sides. While every club might want the Czech vice captain, there are some teams that are more suitable than others.
Arsene Wenger’s career as one of England’s top managers, has seen him cultivate a bastion of quality players. From midfielders like Viera and Fabregas, to frontmen like Bergkamp and Henry and even defenders like Tony Adams. The goalkeeping division of that argument however has only a few notable names.
While Seaman and Lehman are etched in Arsenal folklore, Wenger has struggled to find a consistent long-term replacements for them. WIth the likes of Almunia, Fabianski, Szchezny and Ospina all entering at different points, Wenger hasn’t shown a sterling amount of faith in any of them.
Once dubbed a specialist in failure by Mourinho, signing Cech can do a world of good for both Wenger’s team and morale.
Wenger’s own defensive problems could be remedied by a stable and experienced leader who knows how to marshall a back four. Cech’s ability to adapt to varying defensive combinations have made him somewhat of a specialist in this aspect.
Throughout his career at Chelsea, Cech has been an integral member of some of the shrewdest defences in the premier league, including one that let in only 17 goals in a season.
Though a prospective swap deal involving Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain with Arsenal finally showing the promise to be Premier League contenders, the London club would be an ideal destination for a club that might finally return from years of wallowing in fourth place.
With David De Gea’s transfer saga looking to end with him posing in a Madrid jersey, the hot topic at Old Trafford is regarding his potential replacement. With an experienced winner in the form of Victor Valdes already at the club, it’s not unusual to wonder why United are shopping at all.
The reason, is that Valdes will take time to recover, and will need a raft of first-team games to get back into match rhythm. Though Valdes possesses as nearly much talent and technique as Cech, the latter’s experience in the Premier League proves him to be a better option for Louis van Gaal to build his team upon.
De Gea’s astronomic rise to an elite level, has left questions as to whether United can hold on to their promising youth products. With the next shift likely to be Cech’s last at club level, United could well be assured of a world-class goalkeeper who would play with them till his career ends. The last keeper at United to follow that formula turned out to be one of United’s greatest keepers, Edwin Van Der Saar.
Signing Cech from a rival club would also serve as a statement of intent by the club, who want to display their team, as one that consists of some of the best players in the world. Though Cech might not occupy the elite status at present, he is definitely not ‘far from his prime’. Unlike De Gea, he will not need time to get too accustomed, as his years of experience will enable him to slot in quickly.
How Cech reacts to a constantly changing defence, especially one flooded with youngsters, is yet to be seen. However, if there is one thing United can count on, it’s Cech’s skills as a leader, something that United lack, especially at the back
With Hugo Lloris touted to replace David De Gea at Manchester United, Spurs might be looking for both a qualified goalkeeper as well as a leader at the back. With the young blood of Vertonghen and co, Tottenham is a promising prospect for a keeper the Cech to really re-invent himself.
However, being voted into the PFA team of the Year as recently as last March, Tottenham might prove a bit of a downgrade for Cech, however there are many positives to be considered.
Mauricio Pochettino has a clearer vision for Spurs, and with the right purchases Daniel Levy can build a team that would best suit Cech’s abilities. Despite an underwhelming sixth place finish, Tottenham do have the necessary firepower to push for a top four finish, though Cech has voiced his particular distaste for the Europa League.
A keeper on his quality would be an invaluable addition to any side, however only the fact that Tottenham is in London, is probably not enough for the Czech international, as he aims to re-start his career.