Petr Cech pens emotional open letter to Chelsea fans after leaving for Arsenal
Petr Cech has announced that he has joined Arsenal as part of a £11m transfer from Chelsea.
The 33-year-old took to Twitter to formally announce the move, in which he said he was “very happy” to join the Gunners from their Premier League London rivals.
The 33-year-old has been one of the mainstays of the Roman Abramovich era at Stamford Bridge, winning nearly every club honour with the Blues along the way.
Having been a regular for 10 years, he found his playing time limited last season, losing his first-team spot to Thibaut Courtois and had been expected to move on this summer, with Arsenal leading the chase for a couple of months.
June 29, 2015
He tweeted: “Very happy to announce that I have signed with @Arsenal.”
Cech added on www.arsenal.co.uk: “I’m really excited about joining Arsenal Football Club and can't wait to join up for pre-season. I have the same commitment to football, the same motivation and the same hunger for success as I had at the beginning of my career, and I love the challenges brought by the top quality players you face while playing in the Premier League. When Arsène Wenger spoke to me about his ambitions for this club, and how he saw me as part of this team, the decision was clear.”
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger said of the move: “Petr Cech is a player that I have admired for a long time and I am very pleased that he has decided to join us. He has proven over many seasons that he is one of the outstanding keepers in the world and he will add great strength to our squad.” The Czech international's transfer has expected for the past few weeks after Roman Abramovich gave Cech permission to join a rival.
While Arsenal have not disclosed the length of the contract or fee, it is understood Cech has been signed for £10million and has penned a four-year deal.
Cech joined Chelsea from Rennes in July 2004 for £7million and went onto establish himself as one of their greatest goalkeepers of his generation.
He won four Premier League titles, four FA Cups, three League Cups and played key roles in helping them go all the way in the 2011/12 Champions League as well as the Europa League the following season.
But Cech, who was twice named in the PFA team of the year during his time at Chelsea, played understudy to Courtois last season and made just 15 appearances in all competitions, prompting his move to north London.
Cech published an open letter to Chelsea fans thanking them for their support during his 11 years at Stamford Bridge.
He told Chelsea fans: "I did everything for you and you gave me your love back. I'll never forget it. It will stay with me forever.
"I you remember our history and understand it is time for me to begin a new adventure.
"I thought this would never happen but it is time to say goodbye to Chelsea football club, the club I have loved every single minute for since joining in July 2004, the club in which I thought I’d hang my gloves and boots up with one day and finish my career. But life doesn’t always turn out the way you think it will
"Last summer things changed and I understood I am no longer the first choice keeper but I felt it was not the time for me to go."