Cech in… Five reasons Arsenal are now firmly among title favourites

As far as transfers go, this is a big one. If reports are to believed, Arsenal have snapped up Petr Cech from bitter rivals Chelsea in a deal worth £11m, which could prove to be one of, if not the, wisest addition of the summer transfer window – which, lest we forget, is yet to officially open!

With the 33-year-old having been one of the Premier League’s best goalies since his arrival at Stamford Bridge from Rennes back in 2004, is it time we started taking Arsenal seriously as title contenders for next season? Yes, and here are FIVE reasons we’re not predicting the slow starts or late-season collapses that have plagued Arsene Wenger’s sides for some time in 2015/16…

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John Terry practically admitted he’s ‘the difference

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“There’s talk of Arsenal signing Petr Cech and, if they do get him, he will strengthen them for sure. He will save them 12 or 15 points a season,

“He’s going to be sorely missed and will improve any side he goes to.”

A quick glance at the table (above) shows that a 12 point swing would have put Arsenal joint top with Chelsea, while the extra goals accrued from wins would almost certainly have bridged the six-goal gap between the two London sides. So, if John Terry, who has played alongside Cech for over ten years said it (he was speaking to talkSPORT), it has to be believed there’s some bulk to suggestions he could be the difference.

He’s won it before…

In a fantastic 11 years at Stamford Bridge – aside from the most recent one – Cech has won the Premier League title four times. Winning breeds a winning mentality, and having a player who knows what it takes to lift the top prize in the English game may just build a sense of belief in the Gunners’ dressing room. After all, back-to-back FA Cups have shown that Wenger’s current crop have what it takes to win silverware after a long drought. Maybe Cech’s influence could be the final piece of the Premier League puzzle…

One of the best goalkeepers on the planet

“Petr is one of my best players. I want my important players. Petr is one of my important players.”

Although Jose Mourinho’s words about a month ago mean very little now, they do show how highly-valued Cech is/was. The 33-year-old’ keeper would have surely been first choice at about 90% of the clubs in Europe’s biggest leagues, but he was just been a little unfortunate that Thibaut Courtois’ age and ability led to an early move to fast-track him into the team.

But Chelsea’s loss is now Arsenal’s gain, with the Gunners able to boast one of the best goalies in Europe. He’s certainly up there with David de Gea, Manuel Neuer and Courtois.

Signal of intent!

Cech

Over the course of the past two summers Arsenal have added Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez, and now Wenger has followed his trend of getting proven talent in with Cech’s addition. Signing an established Premier League star and one of the best players in his position on the planet sends out a real message, and tongues are sure to be wagging at Stamford Bridge, Old Trafford and the Etihad Stadium after this. It’s time to take Arsenal seriously.

The fans are on board

Petr Cech (Chelsea)

Although fans cannot physically change a game, a positive mood in the support breeds a good vibe on the pitch. Arsenal supporters have been criticised for a perceived fickle nature in recent years, but if the current feeling of euphoria can be kept, the Gunners will have a solid base behind them…