Tuesday 17 January 2017

Flamini grateful for Mourinho's Cech 'favour'

Published 31/07/2015 | 02:30

Mathieu Flamini believes Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho has done Arsenal a "good favour" in selling Petr Cech to the Gunners.

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The 33-year-old goalkeeper ended a long association with Chelsea to move to the Emirates Stadium this summer.

Having lost his position as first-choice to Thibaut Courtois, Cech was allowed to leave Stamford Bridge even though Mourinho was keen to keep hold of the Czech Republic star.

He is now likely to start at Wembley on Sunday when Arsenal meet the Premier League champions in the Community Shield.

The curtain-raiser gives Arsene Wenger a chance to test his Arsenal side, and Flamini feels the acquisition of Cech is a huge boost.

Surprised

"I was surprised by Mourinho because he really doesn't do that," Flamini said. "He usually doesn't like to sell any players to his rivals, but it's a good favour for us and now we have to take advantage.

"It's a top signing. We have been lucky."

Having added the attacking talents of Mesut Ozil, Alexis Sanchez and Danny Welbeck in recent summers, Wenger has now strengthened at the other end of the pitch - and Flamini reckons the advantages of having Cech on board stretch beyond his goalkeeping abilities.

"It's very important. Not only for his quality but also for his character," added the Frenchman.

"Leaders on the pitch make the difference. Not only when things go well but especially when things go bad. So Petr Cech is a top signing.

"He is someone with character, someone with a winning mentality."

Irish Independent

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