Unai Emery has admitted veteran goalkeeper Petr Cech may not remain at Arsenal beyond the end of the season.
Arsenal midfielder Aaron Ramsey is expected to join Juventus as a free agent when his contract expires next summer. Cech, likewise, sees his current deal expire within six months.
The end of Cech’s Arsenal career? Five key things to know…
- During his time with Chelsea and Arsenal, Cech set an all-time Premier League record for clean sheets (161).
- He won the 2017 FA Cup with Arsenal, after winning a multitude of honours with Chelsea.
- However, Cech hasn’t appeared in a Premier League game since October, with Bernd Leno taking his place.
- The veteran shot-stopper kept a clean sheet in Arsenal’s 3-0 FA Cup win at Blackpool on Saturday.
- Speaking prior to that game, Emery admitted he ‘doesn’t know’ if Cech will remain at the Emirates beyond next summer.
The former Czech Republic international has found game time hard to come by this season following the signing of Leno from Bayer Leverkusen. Cech started the season as first choice but last appeared in a Premier League game for Arsenal in September, a 2-0 win over Watford in which he lasted 45 minutes due to injury.
Cech did, however, keep a clean sheet in the Gunners’ 3-0 FA Cup win over Blackpool on Saturday.
Speaking ahead of that game, Emery admitted the 36-year-old may no longer be an Arsenal player beyond next summer.
“I don’t know now,” Emery replied when asked if Cech has a long-term future at the club.
“This is a question for the club and the player to deal with our necessary things with the goalkeeper.
“All situations like this, we will speak with the player and with the club but at the moment, I want his focus the same, each training, each match.
“He is going to play Saturday to give us his performance and then we are going to decide also within what is the best for him and for the club.”
Cech’s “big experience” remains important to Arsenal
Despite his lack of first-team action, plus reports that Arsenal have been considering a bid for Real Madrid goalkeeper Keylor Navas, Emery admitted he is very pleased with Cech’s attitude and professionalism, adding that his experience is great to have around the club, even if he isn’t playing.
“His commitment has not changed with his new situation,” he added. “I am happy because we need that respect between us.
“Petr Cech has very big experience and he is continuing with very good performances and the most important thing is that each player can continue with his behaviour in different situations when they are in the squad – and today his behaviour with his different situation is good.”
Arsenal next face West Ham in the Premier League on Saturday.