Petr Cech’s move from Chelsea to Arsenal looks increasingly certain to happen, with the Daily Star reporting the clubs to be on the verge of a £14m deal.
It’s a transfer which is expected to have major ramifications for current Gunners goalkeeper David Ospina, who is understood to be close to agreeing a move to Fenerbahce.
On the surface, bringing in Cech for Ospina may seem like a shrewd upgrade.
After all the Chelsea man is a world class stopper who kept five clean sheets in seven league games last season, saving a massive seven shots per goal conceded.
However, there are a host of reasons why acquiring the Stamford Bridge stopper may not be the no-brainer it seems.
Quite why the Gunners seem hell bent on jettisoning Ospina is confusing for one thing, he has enjoyed an excellent start to life in north London, displacing Wojciech Sczcesny as number one and contributing to their drastically improved defence in the second half of the campaign.
He has developed an understanding with his back four and, at 26 years old, has a far longer career ahead of him than the man Arsenal want to sign as his replacement.
Contrastingly, Cech is seven years the Colombian’s senior and will have to develop an all-new telepathy with Arsene Wenger’s rearguard on the hoof ahead of the new season.
Doing so is guaranteed to be all the more taxing due to the Czech stopper having spent so long playing with a settled rearguard including John Terry and Branislav Ivanovic at Chelsea.
The expectation that he will simply resume the high levels of performance he operated at during his time at Stamford Bridge in new colours is further tempered by the unavoidable feeling that this is a step down.
Arsenal are signing a goalkeeper who has won it all at club level, but is no longer required by his current owners. Is it reasonable to assume that he will retain (for years to come) the same hunger and focus as the younger Ospina? £14m is a lot of money to find out…