The effects of Petr Cech's potential move to Arsenal
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According to several reports, Petr Cech is leaning towards Arsenal as his next club. The reports identify North London as a first choice for Cech due to the fact that the Czech stopper is reluctant to uproot his family from their home in London. Jose Mourinho, Chelsea's manager has been quoted expressing his hope that Cech will stay. Either way, he certainly doesn't want the goal keeper to go to another English Club.
Mourinho is right in saying that Cech deserves everything he asks for. If he wants an Arsenal move, Chelsea should grant him his wish, given they get the right price for the Czech international. Obviously, they would like to hold on to him. However, I'm surprised he stayed this season, and I doubt he'd be willing to play second fiddle to Courtois next season as well.
One thing is Jose Mourinho and another is Mr Abramovich, and another thing is the board, because the board is a little bit of me and a little bit of other people. If it was me, if it was my decision, the decision is Petr to stay. That's it. It would be my decision for Petr to stay. Even against his will? Yes. ...
... The option I don't want is for him to go to an English club. But, I repeat, I am just the manager and he means so much for this club and what he did in this club, I think he deserves everything from this club. If the club decision is different to mine I will accept it. - Jose Mourinho
So assuming the Czech International moves to Arsenal, what would this mean for Chelsea and Jose Mourinho?
First and foremost, Chelsea would need to find a capable replacement for Cech. This would be someone of much less pedigree and experience. Chelsea have had the luxury of having two top goalkeepers on their books, but they won't be able to replace Cech with anyone of similar pedigree. Should Courtois get hurt, the Blues will definitely suffer a drop off in talent. Jamal Blackman, Chelsea's young goalkeeper has done much to prove he won't have much of a future at Stamford Bridge.
Furthermore, Mitchell Beeney is not ready to take on the backup role. Chelsea must look outside of their club to find a replacement. In the past, they have been linked with QPR goal keeper, Robert Green, who would represent a decent option for the Blues. Chelsea could also negotiate a deal in which David Ospina, one of Arsenal's goalkeepers, makes the switch to West London, if the deal with Cech goes through. He would serve as a capable back up, should he be comfortable with this role.
The next aspect of life without Cech, is his effect on Arsenal as a title challenger. The North Londoners have been a few pieces away from making a true title run every year. They looked to have had it figured out last season, until they completely collapsed and barely finished in fourth. This season, they looked to make a late run at Chelsea, but finished in third, unable to beat Chelsea at home.
One of the pieces that Arsenal are missing is a goal keeper and Cech certainly represents a major overhaul at that position. He would immediately demand a starting role, and potentially even a captaincy at some point. That's a large impact for one man to have, but the 33-year-old would certainly have that effect at Arsenal. Would that be the push that Arsenal needed to make a title run? Maybe, it's definitely a start. They would need a few more pieces, but it seems as though Wenger is already looking into this. One thing is for certain, a potential Cech to Arsenal deal certainly favors the North Londoners, not Chelsea.
Overall, it remains to be seen where the Czech shot-stopper will end up next season. According to him, he will not decide until after his international duty. Unless Jose Mourinho is able to pull off a miracle, it seems likely that Chelsea will be in the market for a backup this transfer window. While Cech's departure to a title rival will certainly leave a sting for Blues fans, we can't know the true effect of the potential deal until the 33-year-old stands between the lines at Emirates Stadium for the first time.
Tyler Strauss is a student at Fordham University. He currently interns at the New York Cosmos, and writes for their website. Tyler is also a contributor to many other soccer blogs such as CFCNet, ChelseaDaft, The Pride of London, and The Stamford Shed. He is seeking a career in the football (soccer) industry.