While it appears Arsenal have been “one or two days away” from officially signing Petr Cech for the last two weeks, the deal for one of the world’s best goalkeepers in the world seems to be all but finished.
Pundits, former players, journalists, and common logic are all in agreement that signing the Chelsea keeper is a massive statement for Arsenal’s genuine title challenge next season.
But why? Most of the media claims that Arsenal are signing a world-class goalkeeper, something the club has arguably not had since Jens Lehman (or, more notably, David Seaman). Although this is a true declaration, the signing of Cech really implies the intangible that has been ignored far too much: he is a winner.
Prior to the end of the 2013 Summer Transfer Window, Arsenal had become labeled a “selling” club.
After losing the Champions League Final in 2006, (sorry for opening an old wound) Arsenal was notoriously associated for losing its best players. Pires, Sol Campbell, Ashley Cole, Henry, Ljungberg, Kolo Toure, Nasri, Van Persie, Fabregas, etc; were being sold every summer.
While the players’ qualities were missed, the true deficit that no monetary figure could replace was their winning mentality. Every great player that was sold by Arsenal had either won in their tenure at the club or immediately won in their new colours. Arsenal wasn’t losing only because of the lack quality-they were losing because there weren’t any leaders and winners.
But fast-forward to June 2015. The selling club that was trophy-less for 8 years is no more. Additions of Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez have not just provided world class talent, but winning mentalities. Surely it’s not a coincidence that Arsenal win consecutive FA Cups after signing players in the peak of their careers who come from clubs where winning is the ONLY thing.
And while it pains me to say this, Chelsea have been a far more successful club over the last decade. But that’s where the addition of Cech is so invaluable.
A four-time Premier League and FA Cup champion, coupled with three League Cup titles and an almighty Champions League Winner’s medal.
Arsenal, in some ways have outdone themselves. While Alexis and Ozil are worth their weight in gold for their skill and winning pedigree, Cech’s leadership is what this club has been lacking since the departure of Patrick Vieira.
So yes, I do agree with journalists and pundits. Petr Cech is a world-class player that will upgrade Arsenal in the goalkeeping position and win x-y many more points than Szczney or Ospina could.
But what will truly be added to Arsenal’s squad is 11 domestic and 2 European titles. Now that is the definition of a winner.