Even last season the thought of Petr Cech in a Liverpool shirt was a far-fetched one, yet his agent has now opened the door for a move to Anfield for his client. The Czech Republic international’s first-team woes this term are well known, and now it’s rumoured that he’s ready to end his near 11-year stay with the Blues in a bid to get his career back on track and play regularly at the highest level.
Although a January switch looks unlikely, with Liverpool’s current woes between the sticks, it may be worth pushing for a quick deal… and here are FIVE reasons why.
Simply put, Liverpool don’t have a goalkeeper worthy of playing for a club with top four ambitions. Mignolet was recently dropped for his error-laden showings, and Jones has since been brought in. On the surface, replacing an out of form goalie is a wise move, but the Australian stand-in has conceded five goals in two games – in which time he’s faced just eight shots on target. Ouch. In truth, Jones would probably not be a first choice player for many Championship sides, and his record of just over 100 first-team appearances at the age of 32 just about says it all.
Brad Jones – 2 premier league games – 8 shots on target faced – 5 conceded. Let that sink in. — Indigo (@IndigoLFC) December 22, 2014
Despite losing his place over the summer to Thibaut Courtois, Cech is still widely considered to be in the top five stoppers in the Premier League, which is testament to his form over the past ten years and moments of pure inspiration between the sticks. From Liverpool’s perspective, drafting in a goalie from abroad may be a risk, with the time it takes to adapt to the physicality – David de Gea really struggled at first – enough to ruin some goalkeepers’ confidence. Cech knows the league, knows the style and knows what it takes to win, making him a wise addition for the Reds.
Even at 32, Cech is still firmly in his peak, and could well have at least another five years of action at the highest level in the tank. With a lack of playing time this term, it would be unfair to justify such claims with recent stats, but last season’s numbers make for good reading. Cech was the Premier League’s second best in terms of save success last term (77.1%), with Vito Mannone of Sunderland, who faced more efforts, the only ‘keeper to better him, while the Czech ace also had the best clean sheet record.
In top-level football terms, £6m is peanuts. The biggest clubs make such sums from around a months’ worth of ticket sales, meaning that Liverpool can easily stretch to such a figure, even with their much-maligned £110m summer spend still a far too recent memory. Chelsea are open to letting Cech leave, with Jose Mourinho having already hinted that he will respect the 32-year-old’s ultimate decision.
Mignolet’s flappy hands have not inspired confidence this season at Anfield. The Belgian seems unable to deal with crosses, is reluctant to come off his line at set-piece, and tends to go walkabout at key moments. All of the above mean that the Reds’ backline have been even more uncertain than normal, which may have contributed to Brendan Rodgers’ decision to bring Jones in from the cold.
Conversely, Cech is a calming influence, has a proven record and a well-known style. No-brainer.