When former Atletico Madrid star and long-term Chelsea loanee, Thibaut Courtois, finally made his return to Stamford Bridge at the beginning of the 2014/15 campaign, it became clear that Jose Mourinho had a huge task on his hands in when it came to sorting out his goal-keeping department.
Would the fresh faced young Belgian come in straight away and oust club hero Petr Cech from the first team squad almost immediately, or did the experienced Czech Republic international still have a meaningful future left with the Blues in the Premier League?
As we are all well aware by now, the latter outcome seemingly never took place for Cech in the end, with this season so far turning out to be not much more than an extended bench warming exercise for the 32-year-old shot-stopper.
So, with a number of Europe’s most high profile clubs, including Arsenal, reportedly expressing a clear interest in ending the keeper’s somewhat stagnant time at Stamford Bridge, just where will Chelsea’s Petr Cech eventually end up plying his trade next season?
Well for one thing, it must be conceded at this stage in the debate that the player is still more than capable of doing the business between the sticks at the highest level. His very best days may in-fact be behind him at the moment, but even at the peaking age of 32-years-old, Cech still has what it takes to represent his team in the Premier League and Europe.
On his day he turns his respective goal-mouth into a simply impenetrable proposition. The former Sparta Prague man often displays sheer confidence when claiming the ball in and around his penalty box, he is able to organise the Chelsea back-four into a more than solid unit worthy of testing any strike-force in Europe – and with a strong emphasis also placed on shot-stopping and quick distribution – Petr Cech still has to go down as one of the best all-rounders currently occupying the talk of the modern goal-keeper’s circuit.
Despite the many plaudits that have gracefully come the no 1’s way throughout the years however, it must also be admitted that Jose Mourinho made a tough, but ultimately correct call by favouring Thibaut Courtois over the Czech Republic star. Cech remains a reliable option no doubt, but Chelsea’s up-and-coming new boy simply has to go down as one of the best keepers in European football at the moment.
With that in mind then, perhaps an emotional move away from Stamford Bridge has now become a necessity for a player who was once considered to be completely un-droppable. As Arsenal will reportedly be in for the famous shot-stopper across the summer transfer window – with their own history of chopping and changing things around in the goal-keeping department at the Emirates – maybe a switch to North London could be the perfect answer for Cech in this somewhat transitional phase of his career.
The Gunners certainly need someone with the experience and know-how that the Chelsea star brings to the table, the Emirates faithful would likely be satisfied with the keeper’s own individual skill-set and match winning qualities – and even though Petr Cech has been representing one of Arsenal’s major London rivals throughout his Premier League career so far – the player in question still seemingly arrives as a very viable option for Arsene Wenger.
There is nevertheless one unavoidable spanner in the works within this potential deal however – and that simply comes in the form of Colombian World Cup star, David Ospina. The South American has been in impressive form for his new side since successfully ousting Wojciech Szczesny for the no. 1 spot this season, so even though it’s still certainly early days for the newly acquired keeper in his Arsenal career, a bright Emirates future is nevertheless expected of the promising 26-year-old.
A move to either Real Madrid or PSG, with both teams also recently being linked to the notorious shot-stopper, could therefore represent a more plausible outcome for the skull-cap wearing Stamford Bridge hero – even if the prospect of warming the substitutes bench once again raises its head for the ever ready and determined Petr Cech.