Petr Cech’s future at Arsenal had been in doubt for some time, with the 36-year-old entering the final months of his contract at the Emirates Stadium. But rather than hitting free agency, the Premier League legend has decided to call time on his career.
— Petr Cech (@PetrCech) January 15, 2019
The former Chelsea shot-stopper will take his gloves off for one last time when the 2018/19 season draws to a close in May, pulling the curtain down on a 20-year professional career.
Under Unai Emery, however, Cech lost his starting spot to summer signing Bernd Leno and has featured just seven times in the Premier League.
Now, without his services to bank on for much longer, Arsenal will have to plot potential additions to strengthen between the sticks. We provide four suggestions on who should become Cech’s successor at the Emirates Stadium.
Pl>ymaker FC believes Arsenal fans won’t have to wait long to see Unai Emery’s long-term ambitions for the club come to fruition. Watch the video below to find out why…
Legia Warsaw’s Radoslaw Majecki may be a fairly unheard of name but not amongst the scouts at Arsenal, with the Gunners sending their men to watch the teenager’s progress throughout the current campaign – as reported by London Evening Standard in December.
The 19-year-old only broke into the senior side this year in Poland, but is currently being assessed to determine his suitability to the English game. He would certainly need further time to develop, but with Leno the current number one Arsenal are able to afford him it.
While Leno may be the first choice at the moment, the summer signing has not been a terrific acquisition. In fact, the 26-year-old has only managed three Premier League clean sheets so far.
An option to consider if Emery wishes to bring in an immediate first-choice goalkeeper is Atletico Madrid’s Jan Oblak.
A move for the 26-year-old would be expensive, to say the least, with the Slovenian unlikely to leave the Spanish capital for anything less than his £90million release clause – as documented by FourFourTwo. After that, they would have to impress Oblak enough to convince him to join.
Given the Gunners’ need to strengthen across the pitch, Emery will likely shy away from splurging the budget on one marquee addition this summer.
Albanian international Thomas Strakosha, however, would unlikely break the bank but still offer a decent alternative to Leno, provided Lazio are still willing to sell as Calcio Mercato claimed during the summer.
The 23-year-old has been the established first choice for Lazio since the 2016/17 season, and has made 20 Serie A appearances already this term.
There may be a magnitude of potential goalkeepers in world football that could be brought to North London to fill Cech’s void, but one man already at the club will certainly be hoping the veteran’s retirement gives him the chance to become a first-team regular.
Emiliano Martinez joined Arsenal back in 2010 and has been on the fringes of the first-team ever since his debut in the League Cup two years later.
Unfortunately for the Argentine, he has never featured in more than six games in a single season for the Gunners, yet has kept a clean sheet on seven occasions, including against Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League.
So, Arsenal fans, who do you see as the perfect Cech successor? Let us know by commenting below…