Wenger admits he had doubts over signing Cech

Date published: Saturday 23rd January 2016 11:59

Arsene Wenger has admitted he had reservations over whether he should have signed Petr Cech in the summer.

The Gunners made Cech their only signing in the summer transfer window, purchasing him from Premier League rivals Chelsea for £10million.

The 33-year-old keeper has made a considerable difference, with Arsenal topping the league after 22 games, and Cech having broken the record for most Premier League clean sheets earlier this season.

But Wenger admits that he had doubts over whether he should sign Cech back in the summer, with the keeper having started just nine Premier and Champions League games for Chelsea last season, as he was forced to play second-choice due to the form of Thibaut Courtois.

“I didn’t know what kind of shape he was in physically because he hadn’t played,” Wenger said. “When I met him I was quickly reassured of his desire to do well and his motivation. I didn’t know how much he could still produce physically.

“He hadn’t played and was battling a drop in physical aptitude. But I knew the potential was exceptional having played against him 11 years in the Premier League. It was a question of ‘physically, can he still do it?'”

Wenger also says that it was a “difficult decision” to drop David Ospina, who had performed well for the Gunners in the second half of last season.

“Look, it was a very, very difficult decision for me because I highly rate Ospina,” Wenger added. “I have a high opinion of him. Ospina is a goalkeeper who, in my opinion, is underrated, especially in England.

“But (signing Cech) was maybe one of the few opportunities to say, ‘okay, this is obvious’. It was more to say, ‘if I don’t do this, it would have been a mistake I think’.”

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