As Petr Cech moves closer to a move to Arsenal, fans are noticing how the club are stringing together a list of strong buys, all bought in consecutive summer transfer windows. Starting with Santi Cazorla in 2012, and then moving to Mesut Özil and then Alexis Sanchez.
Cazorla, Sanchez and Ozil in some respect are seen as the biggest statements that Arsenal have made through transfers, but is Cech a bigger statement than all of them?
All three players are in the prime of their careers, especially Sanchez, who proved his worth with a great debut season in England.
The fact they were bought by Arsenal at the height of their respective powers shows a move away from the Arsenal transfer policy of old.
Arsenal used to be mocked by opposition fans because they bought young players, and usually later sold them on.
Being a player to go straight into the first team is something different for Arsenal, so on that respect all three transfers were big statements, and this shows that Arsenal are ready to challenge again.
Also, none of the players were very young, they all have time on their side, but none were very young. This shows another way Arsenal transfer policy has changed. The Cech transfer could be seen as the biggest statement because of his age, it would have previously been unheard of for Arsenal to buy a player over 30, goalkeeper or not.
All the signings were big money deals, showing that Arsenal are able to compete financially with some of Europe’s big spenders.
The transfer of Ozil is the 16th biggest transfer of all time, with the Sanchez transfer being below that at 28th. Cech’s transfer is no where near the level of those of Sanchez or Özil, but it is expensive for a goalkeeper. The reported £11 million fee makes Petr Cech the fifth most expensive goalkeeper of all time.
This again shows that all the transfers are statements, as they all show that Arsenal have the financial capability to challenge, and that money is no longer a restricting factor at the club as it once was.
The fact that all three of the players mentioned moved for big money and that they were in their prime shows a clear link between them, they are all top players.
To win trophies, you need top players so signing top players is sending out a statement that you want to win trophies. All of the signings are “statements of intent” which is important for big clubs like Arsenal.
All the players signed have previously had experience of winning things, Cech more than most. Cech has won everything there is to win in Europe, both Sanchez and Ozil had experiences of winning in Spain.
Something they all share, especially Sanchez and Cech, is the will to win. They are born winners, and will drive others in the team to also go on and win. This will to win seems to be a factor behind Arsenal’s successive FA Cup wins.
Arsenal used to be seen by many as a feeder club for other top teams, including title rivals Manchester United and Manchester City. Having the ability to lure players from other top clubs is something Arsenal didn’t have, but the impending transfer of Cech shows that they do now have it.
Cech is leaving Chelsea to Arsenal, a transfer that very rarely happens, so when it does it shows that either club is making a statement. When Ashley Cole moved from Arsenal to Chelsea nearly 10 years ago, it proved to many fans that Chelsea were ready to challenge Arsenal and that top players wanted to move to Chelsea. The transfer of Cech is the opposite and shows that Arsenal are willing to buy players from within the league and challenge.
The Özil and Sanchez transfers are different, as Arsenal bought top players from other European clubs not directly from that league. Cech is a Chelsea legend, their sixth highest appearance holder, making the move even more shocking and even more of a statement as well.
The transfer of Sanchez was a statement and he proved his worth in his first season at Arsenal. Whether Petr Cech can live up to the expectation of his huge tanagers to Arsenal is unknown, what is known is that he is a huge statement of intent.