Just as expected when Petr Cech signed for Arsenal from London rivals Chelsea, he has proven to be a fantastic addition to the club and saved us on numerous occasions last season.
Some will argue that Cech also had a few howlers over the course of the campaign, but to expect near perfection would not be realistic. Overall I think Gooners can be satisfied that we have a top class keeper on our hands, especially after many many years of uncertainty between the sticks. But just how long will Cech stay as the club’s number one?
Cech is currently 34 years old and of course has a fair few more years at the highest level as a goalkeeper. Goalkeepers tend to not retire until their late 30’s and just looking at the likes of Buffon, Casillas and even previously Van Der Sar, top keepers can remain at the highest well into the latter stages of their professional career. Providing he maintains full fitness and there’s no major fall in ability, then I’d expect him to remain between the sticks for at least the next 3 years. But there are of course factors that could influence the length of his career at Arsenal.
Cech is fully committed to staying in London, one of the main reasons for why he signed for Arsenal from Chelsea rather than anyone else, so I’m confident that he won’t be looking to move away anytime soon. One thing that could increase the number of years his career lasts for, is the recent consideration that he has had surrounding whether he will be retiring from the national team, after this summer’s European Championships.
Cech’s national side, Czech Republic are of course already out of the Euros, having been eliminated from the group stage. However Cech announced that he will make a decision on his future with the national side and whether he will choose to continue playing or go into international retirement. Retiring from his national team would of course allow Cech to focus solely on his club duties, rather than having to jet off for international games every few months. It will also allow him to have a break from football each summer, rather than have a long calendar year which includes international football over the summer months.
The other factor we must consider is the future of other goalkeepers at the club. I think Wenger will bring back Szczesny to learn under Cech for the next year or so, before handing the reins over to the Polish international once again. Therefore Cech may only have one or two more seasons as Arsenal’s regular goalkeeper and number one choice. I don’t expect to see the likes of Martinez, Macey or Huddart to ever make the step up to being the club’s number one.
So how much longer will we be able to have this footballing legend guarding our goal between the sticks and do you think international retirement would be a positive move for Cech?