A Legend Says Goodbye
Arsenal goalkeeper Peter Cech has revealed that he will retire at the end of this season. After 15 years in the Premier League, during which time he won numerous trophies with Chelsea and Arsenal, the former Czech international has called time on his illustrious career.
On a statement released yesterday on Arsenal TV, Cech said, “This is my 20th season as a professional player and it has been 20 years since I signed my first professional contract, so it feels like the right time to announce that I will retire at the end of the season. Having played 15 years in the Premier League, and won every single trophy possible, I feel like I have achieved everything I set out to achieve.”
Cech first moved to the Premier League in 2004 after signing for Chelsea for a fee of just £7m and eventually became a Stamford Bridge legend.
During his time at West London, he won the Champions League, four Premier Leagues, four FA Cups, three League Cups, and one Europa League. Across 11 years at Chelsea, Cech registered 486 senior appearances, making him the club’s highest overseas appearance maker, sixth of all-time. Cech is the club all time clean sheet record with 220 to his name.
He left Chelsea in 2014 to join rivals Arsenal for £10m winning two FA Community Shields and a FA Cup in 2017 what turned out to be Arsene Wenger’s final piece of silverware as manager. Cech also has a total of 124 caps to his name with the Czech Republic, along with a host of other top individual awards including the Premier League Golden Glove on four occasions.
The veteran started this season under head coach Berd Leno’s supervision and was on the team sheet on first seven matches. However, a hamstring injury saw him lose his spot to new signing, Bernd Leno from Bayer Leverkusen.
After the announcement was made public by the veteran keeper, the Londoners said in a statement on their website: “Peter recently informed us of his decision. Like all football fans, we are sad about this, but completely understand and support Petr.”
Rivals Chelsea too paid a tribute to their one time faithful, “A champion on and off the pitch.”
What This Means For Arsenal?
Well, Arsenal might look to recall David Ospina at the end of the current campaign and could retain him as their second choice keeper. The Colombian has done well for the Gunners so far when he has been given the opportunity to do so. However, he has been inconsistent at times and has failed to capture the first team spot on a regular basis.
With that being said, there are still opportunities for him to make a return to the Emirates and reclaim his spot in the playing eleven, if he can impress new manager Unai Emery. This could be the right time when he fights for a spot in the playing eleven, as Leno hasn’t been the most consistent goalie at times and has made some errors that he could have avoided. If Ospina is able to up his game and push for a spot in the starting eleven, it would only be good for the north London giants, who are looking to win more titles in the days to come.