Petr Cech’s arrival at Arsenal from London rivals Chelsea in the summer of 2015 was universally hailed. The £10 million that the Gunners paid for the 35-year-old goalkeeper was peanuts compared to the transfer fees that clubs pay these days. True, Cech was not needed at Chelsea and it was the Blues’ decision to let him go, but that was because they had - and still have - a certain Thibaut Courtois, who is a world-class player and is one of the best in the world in his position.
Cech is still a good goalkeeper, but at the age of 35, it does not take a rocket scientist to figure out that he is on the wane. Although goalkeepers do tend to last longer than footballers in other departments, it is time for Arsenal to start thinking of life beyond the former Czech Republic international custodian.
The former Chelsea star has made mistakes during his time at Arsenal so far. There have been blunders against the Blues, Leicester and West Brom. For Arsenal to rebuild themselves and start challenging for the Premier League title, they need to start from the back and need to start looking for a new goalkeeper.
Arsenal are reportedly looking at Peter Gulacsi of RB Leipzig, and he would be a good signing for the Gunners in the long run. Gulacsi’s form over the past two or so seasons is one of the main reasons why Leipzig are doing so well in the Bundesliga and have established themselves as genuine challengers for the Bundesliga title according to latest football betting tips. Ralph Hasenhuttl’s side are 20/1 to win the German premiership this season.
Another goalkeeper that Arsenal should look at is Jack Butland. True, the 24-year-old has had injury problems in recent years, but there is no doubt that he is a superb footballer. If Butland recovers from his latest injury and plays regularly for Stoke, then he could well be the first-choice custodian for England at the 2018 World Cup finals in Russia next summer. It is hard to see the Potters, who are struggling for survival in the Premier League at the moment, entertain any bids for Butland in the January transfer window, but the Gunners should certainly make an approach for him next summer. Moreover, Butland is still very young and will only improve in the coming years.
Asmir Begovic could also be an option. The 30-year-old Bournemouth goalkeeper knows the Premier League inside out, and also has experience of playing for a big club - he won the league title with Chelsea last season. Given that the Bosnia and Herzegovina international is 30 years of age, Arsenal could get four or five years out of him.
Arsenal should be looking to the future and exploring the options of signing a long-term replacement for Cech next summer. Just as Chelsea did in 2005, the Gunners need to be proactive and prepare for the future instead of simply carrying on with Cech.