Petr Cech: Five keepers who could replace the Arsenal shotstopper
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With the news that Arsenal goalkeeper Petr Cech will retire at the end of the season we assess the likely candidates who could replace the Premier League icon.
The veteran shotstopper joined Arsenal in June 2015 from west London rivals Chelsea, where he spent 11 trophy-laden years at Stamford Bridge.
Cech came to this country after the Blues landed him from French club Rennes in July 2004.
He went on to lift 13 trophies with the Pensioners including the Champions League and four Premier League titles.
The highly-respected Cech posted on his personal Twitter account: “Having played 15 years in the Premier League and won every single trophy possible, I feel like I have achieved everything I set out to achieve.
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“I will continue to work hard at Arsenal to hopefully win one more trophy this season.
“This is my 20th season as a professional player and it has been 20 years since I signed my first professional contract, so it feels like the right time to announce that I will retire.
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“I am looking forward to seeing what life holds for me off the pitch.”
So, with the veteran 36-year-old leaving in the summer, it seems as though the Gunners will need to recruit a new back-up for Bernd Leno.
Having being linked to a number of goalkeepers already this year, we’ve conducted a list of five players Arsenal could sign to replace Cech.
Arsenal have been heavily linked with Real Madrid goalkeeper Keylor Navas over the winter period.
With more than ten years’ experience at the top level Navas be the perfect replacement for Cech and too someone to rival Bernd Leno as No1.
The Costa Rican has won three Champions League titles with Real Madrid, and was their first-choice keeper before the introduction of Thibaut Courtois last summer.
The 32-year-old has spoken publicly on his feelings of being Madrid’s number two, claiming that a new club may be on the horizon.
Unai Emery was asked his side’s FA Cup victory over Blackpool earlier this month and did not rule out a move for Navas.
However with the lack of funds in the transfer kitty and the fact that Cech will not hang his gloves up until May the chances of the Costa Rican joining the Gunners during this transfer window is slim.
June will be a different matter entirely...
It was reported earlier this month that Arsenal were part of a battle between Manchester United and Inter Milan to capture the signature of young Brazilian keeper Gabriel Brazao.
The 18-year-old impressed at the U17’s World Cup, and has caught the eye of a number of clubs during his playing time at Cruzeiro in Brazil.
It’s said that the 6ft 3in youngster could be on Arsenal’s watchlist, having won the golden glove at the U17’s World Cup.
Valued at £3 million – a price range that would attract the cash-strapped Gunners – Brazao could be seen as the long-term solution to the club’s goalkeeping position.
World Cup winner Ron-Robert Zieler would be a strong option for Arsenal to look towards in the summer.
The 29-year-old former Manchester United youth goalkeeper showed his quality during his time at Hannover 96, earning him a move to Leicester City.
The acrobatic shot-stopper wasn’t given much of a chance in England, and so made his way back to Germany, signing with VfB Stuttgart.
With his contract only lasting until 2020, the German could be an option for Arsenal with his quality and experience between the posts.
Along with Navas, Arsenal were linked with Polish goalkeeper Radoslaw Majecki over the winter transfer window.
The 19-year-old has been scouted by Arsenal for some time at Legia Warsaw, and has said to have impressed the club with his performances.
Despite not being tipped as an immediate first team contender, the 19-year-old could certainly be considered as one for the future.
Despite already being Arsenal’s goalkeeper, Cech’s departure could act as a perfect opportunity for David Ospina to make his way back in contention at Arsenal. Whether he does is a different matter entirely, even if former boss Arsene Wenger opted for the Colombian over Cech against Chelsea in the 2017 FA Cup final in a decision which hurt the former Blues keeper who was keen on a showpiece reunion with his former club.