Unable to reclaim his goalkeeping spot from Thibaut Courtois, Petr Cech has made a move across London by signing for Arsenal from Chelsea in a reported £10m transfer.
The Czech international has brought to an end his highly rewarding 11-year stay at Stamford Bridge which saw him claim 13 trophies including the UEFA Champions League.
Cech played 494 games for the Blues, keeping 228 clean sheets but featured only 7 times for Jose Mourinho’s side in their Premier League winning campaign. Stoke goalkeeper Asmir Begovic who is on his final year of his contract, is being lined to replace Cech but the Blues have had their opening £6m bid rejected but are expected to return with an improved offer.
In an open letter published on social media, Cech said:
“I thought this would never happen, but it is time for me to say goodbye to Chelsea Football Club: the club I have lived every single minute for since joining in July, 2014, the club in which I thought I’d hang my gloves and boots one day and finish my career. But life doesn’t always turn out the way you think it will.”
“It has been an incredible journey with so many highs and not many lows. We have managed to win every single English trophy as well as the Europa League and the biggest of all – the Champions League. Looking back at all the achievements, including our first ever league double in 2010, back to back titles in 2005 and 2006, and multiple Premier League and FA Cup wins, I couldn’t be more proud. As a team, we made history together.
Limited playing time
“Last summer, things changed and I understood I was no longer the first-choice keeper, but I felt it was not the right time for me to go. During the season it became clear that my situation would not improve and, as I know I am not at the stage of my career where I want to be on the bench, I made my decision to move on and look for new challenges.”
“The limited playing time gave me the chance to refresh and rest mentally as well as made me realise just how much I enjoy playing football at the highest level, because I missed it badly every game day I was not involved.
“I have the same commitment to football, the same motivation and the same hunger for success as I had at the beginning of my career. I love the challenges brought by the top quality players you face while playing in the Premier League: simply the best and the most challenging league in the world. That’s why I spoke to Mr Abramovich about me staying in the Premier League, and I’d like to thank him from the bottom of my heart for his support in this matter.”