7 of Petr Cech’s Greatest Moments Following Arsenal Keeper’s Retirement Announcement

After making his professional debut over 20 years ago, former Chelsea and current Arsenal keeper Petr Cech has announced that he will be retiring at the end of the 2018/19 season.

Since arriving in England from Stade Rennais in 2004, the Czech keeper has made over 600 appearances in all competitions, winning four Premier League titles, six FA Cups, three League Cups, one Europa League title, and one Champions League trophy. As the man himself put it in his statement, he’s won everything.

Here’s a list of seven of the very finest moments from his illustrious career.

7. That Save From Hernandez in 2013

Javier Hernandez,Petr Cech

Cech has made plenty of remarkable saves during his career, but one of his most notable came in 2013 against Manchester United in an FA Cup quarter-final replay.

With Chelsea a goal to the good after 60 minutes, United looked certain to equalise when Javier Hernandez latched onto the end of a teasing cross, but Cech was able to scuttle across his goal line before stretching out a top hand to lift the Mexican’s header up over his cross bar.

6. Four Golden Gloves

Petr Cech

Cech has managed to achieve four Premier League golden glove awards during his time with Chelsea and Arsenal, which is the joint highest total of any goalkeeper.

He is also the only keeper to have ever won the golden glove with two different clubs, having earned three during his time with Chelsea and one in his debut season with Arsenal back in 2015/16. 

He is also the second most successful keeper when it comes to Premier League titles, having won four, narrowly behind Peter Schmeichel who won five with Manchester United.

5. 2010 FA Cup Final Performance

Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech (L) saves a

Chelsea were the dominant force in the 2010 FA Cup final against Portsmouth, but it took a penalty save from Cech to help them on their way to a 1-0 victory.

The Blues were undone twice during the match, but Cech was on hand to bail them out on both occasions, propelling them to their first ever double in the process.

First, he saved a point-blank effort from Frederic Piquionne and then, with the game still goalless, he saved a penalty from Kevin Prince Boateng. 

4. Debut Season With Chelsea

Petr Cech

Jose Mourinho guided Chelsea to their first league win in over fifty years when the Blues lifted the Premier League trophy in 2004/05 and Cech was absolutely pivotal to that success.

His was outstanding that year, keeping an incredible 24 clean sheets, which is the highest number any goalkeeper has ever been able to achieve in Premier League history.

Along the way, he also only conceded 13 goals in 35 appearances and was deservedly voted into the PFA team of the season for his remarkable performances.

3. 2012 Champions League Final

Ivica Olic,Petr Cech

Chelsea’s Champions League victory in 2012 was certainly unexpected and it wouldn’t have been possible if it weren’t for Cech’s heroics in the final against Bayern Munich.

With the scores tied at one a piece in extra-time, Cech was able to keep out a penalty from Arjen Robben, giving Chelsea the opportunity to win the final from a shootout.

Cech pulled off further heroics from the spot, saving from Ivica Olic before getting the slightest of touches on Bastian Schweinsteiger’s effort. Didier Drogba then went on to stroke home the winning penalty for the Blues.

2. Clean Sheet Record

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Cech holds the record for the most clean sheets by a Premier League goalkeeper with 202, surpassing David James previous record of 169.

He broke the record in a 2-0 win over Bournemouth in 2015 and, although it took some time, he went on to earn his 200th with a 3-0 win over Watford in March 2018 – a game in which he saved a penalty.

He also holds the record for the most clean sheets at a single club, having kept 162 at Chelsea.

1. Recovering From His Head Injury

Petr Cech

For all of Petr Cech’s remarkable statistics, jaw-dropping saves and inspired performances, his greatest achievement was being able to recover from the horrific head injury he suffered back in 2006.

It’s no exaggeration to say that the injury was potentially career ending. After Reading’s Steven Hunt clashed into Cech’s head, he suffered a depressed skull fracture and was out action for almost half of the 2006/07 season.

He came back sporting his famous protective head gear and he hasn’t let that injury prevent him from becoming one of the Premier League’s greatest ever goalkeepers – that deserves everyone’s respect.

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Alvaro Morata Willing to Take ‘Substantial Pay Cut’ to Push Through Move to Atletico Madrid

?Chelsea misfit Alvaro Morata is willing to take a ‘substantial pay cut’ in order push through a move to Atletico Madrid. 

The 26-year-old has failed to settle at Stamford Bridge since his £58m arrival in 2017, netting 24 goals in 72 appearances across all competitions during his time in west London. Although that isn’t a terrible record, the Blues’ pursuit of on-loan Milan front man Gonzalo Higuain perhaps signals that Morata’s time at Chelsea is coming to an end.

Jan Bednarek,Alvaro Morata,Jannik Vestergaard

According to Spanish media outlet ?Marca, the former Real Madrid striker’s next destination could be in fact? Atletico Madrid, with the forward willing to earn significantly less than the €9m-a-year he pockets at ?Chelsea in order to complete a move without any hassle.

Atleti’s current wage bill at the Wanda Metropolitano however means the club would have to offload players before completing any deal for the Spaniard, with Gelson Martins and Nikola Kalinic two names linked with departures to help finance the deal. 

?Sevilla were another La Liga side linked with the out-of-favour Chelsea striker recently, although a proposed move was halted due to Morata’s excessive wage demands, highlighting his apparent desire to join Diego Simeone’s side instead.

?Morata is no stranger to La Liga, having scored 25 goals in the white of Los Blancos during two spells with the club, although a move to Atletico would see the Spanish international return to his first club, having come through the ranks at Atleti before joining Getafe’s youth setup.  

Joao Moutinho,Alvaro Morata

A move for Morata to Los Rojiblancos could also be seen as them directly replacing Diego Costa, who has been linked with a move to China in recent weeks. Should a move go happen, Diego Simeone will no doubt hope that Morata can start firing again as he looks to keep in touch with current La Liga leaders Barcelona. 

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Transfer Rumours: Wilson to Wolves, Ndombele to Everton, Ake to Chelsea and More

We’re approaching the mid-way point of the January transfer window, and already we’ve seen a handful of completed deals, the early signs of a mid-season clear-out at Liverpool, and Manchester United, as ever, linked with an entire match-day squad of centre-backs.

Indeed, the window can move thick and fast, and as such, it can be hard to keep on top of even the confirmed happening, let alone the avalanche of rumours that emerges from the darkness around this time of year. 

With that in mind, we’ve thrown together a quick roundup of six rumours to have a look at today. 

1. Palace, Fulham and Huddersfield Among Interested Parties in USA Target-Man

Gyasi Zardes

Huddersfield have struggled desperately for goals so far this season, Fulham a little less so, but given each side’s woes throughout the first half of the season, it comes as no surprise to see them linked with some extra quality in the attacking third. 

TeamTalk have today claimed that both sides, as well as Crystal Palace and a host of Championship clubs, are interested in 27-year-old USA international Gyasi Zardes, who has scored 20 goals in 36 games for Columbus Crew in MLS.

At present, the talk is of a summer move for the versatile attacker, but whether Premier League  interest can inspire a January exit remains to be seen.

2. Everton Could Sell Idrissa Gueye to Finance Move for £75m-Rated Lyon Midfielder

Tanguy Ndombele,Stiven Mendoza

In one of the more outlandish rumours doing the rounds this afternoon, it’s reported that Everton could look to cash in on PSG’s interest in Idrissa Gueye, to raise funds for an ambitious move for Lyon’s Tanguy Ndombele. 

This one comes from the Daily Star, who cover a lot of ground, but the central theme is that Lyon want £75m for the player, and Everton could move on Gueye to fund a large part of any potential fee.

Manchester City, Tottenham, Barcelona and Real Madrid are also credited with an interest, with the former reported to have already had a £45m bid for the player rejected.

3. Wolves Enter Race With Chelsea to Sign Bournemouth’s Callum Wilson

FBL-ENG-PR-MAN CITY-BOURNEMOUTH

Wolves are reported to be interested in signing Bournemouth striker Callum Wilson, as they look for a proven goalscorer to challenge Raul Jimenez for a first-team place. 

Chelsea are widely thought to have earmarked the Cherries striker as a plan B to Gonzalo Higuain, and while the Birmingham Mail acknowledge that they remain favourites for his signature, they claim Wolves are now on the prowl for the 26-year-old and could rival the Blues’ efforts in securing him.

If Wilson does end up leaving Bournemouth this month, ten goals in 23 appearances in all competitions suggest he’ll be a decent addition wherever he lands. 

4. Real Madrid Send Scouts to Watch Genoa Starlet as They Seek Ronaldo Replacement

Genoa CFC  v Atalanta BC - Serie A

Over in Spain, it seems Real Madrid are still kicking themselves for failing to sign a viable replacement for Ronaldo in the summer, and are keen to act on that with a move for Genoa’s free-scoring Krzysztof Piatek.

With 13 goals, he’s the second top scorer in Serie A (to Ronaldo’s 14, ironically) and AS report his antics so far have piqued the interest of Real, who have had scouts closely monitoring him in recent weeks.

In all competitions, it’s 19 goals in 21 appearances so far for the 23-year-old. Not a bad return all things considered.

5. Nathan Ake Could Return to Chelsea as Blues Consider £40m Buy-Back Clause

Nathan Ake

In what could represent one of the worst bits of financial business since Manchester United lost almost £100m on Paul Pogba, Chelsea are reportedly considering meeting a £40m buy-back clause to secure the return of Nathan Ake, just two years after they sold him to Bournemouth for half of that. 

Whether or not the clause actually exists is of course up for debate, but the Sun claim it does, adding that Chelsea see £40m as a price worth paying for a player they perceive to be one of the best defenders in the league. 

He already has the haircut to replace the out of contract David Luiz should he depart in the summer, and as a composed, ball-playing defender, he fits the Maurizio Sarri mould to a tee. 

6. Barcelona Want Fernando Llorente as Back-Up for Luis Suarez

Manchester Unitied v Tottenham Hotspur - Premier League

To round things off with a nice weird one, Barcelona are considering bringing in forgotten Tottenham striker Fernando Llorente, as they seek an experienced alternative to Luis Suarez.

The 33-year-old, who moved from Swansea 18 months ago to act as Spurs’ plan B to Harry Kane, has managed just 36 minutes of Premier League action this season, and reports in Spain (via the Daily Mail, granted) claim that he could be in contention for a return to his native country with the La Liga leaders.

You can’t imagine there would be a lot more firs-team football on offer at the Nou Camp, but a high-profile return to La Liga to wind down his career might prove to be just the ticket for the target-man.

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35 Strikers Chelsea Have Been Linked With in the Last 12 Months

Transfer rumours, let’s face it, we’re all a sucker for them. As soon as the transfer window opens, newspapers and websites are overflowing with news of the supposed latest deals, and we wolf them down like manna from heaven. 

Sure, they usually tend to be absolute drivel, but that doesn’t stop them flying around the internet and getting fans giddy with the prospect of bringing in a new star.

Heck, I’ve fallen victim to it too, when I spent most of the 2017 summer furiously refreshing my Twitter feed, looking for any sign that Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang may have been on his way to Stamford Bridge. Alas, he chose an inferior London-based side instead; a real pity.

In the past 12 months, Chelsea have come to realise that their £58m striker Álvaro Morata is, to put it mildly, a bit of a dud, with the majority of his efforts spiralling into the depths of the Shed End. Always offside, and quicker to take a tumble than a seasoned gymnast, the Spain international has been nothing short of a flop at Stamford Bridge.

With the Blues seeking a new man to lead the line, a host of possible alternatives have been linked to the club over the past year. So here’s 35 (yes, thirty-five!) strikers Chelsea have been linked with since January 2018.

1. Christian Benteke – Crystal Palace

Christian Benteke

Cast your mind back to last January, and you may recall a transfer window in which Chelsea, under the management of Antonio Conte, attempted to sign any striker who were either strikingly tall or rather on the bulky side.

Naturally, Crystal Palace bulldozer Christian Benteke was linked with the Blues, given his muscular physique and prowess in the air.

Source: Daily Mail 

2. Fernando Llorente – Tottenham Hotspur

Fernando Llorente

A 6ft 4′ veteran forward who has a penchant for scoring FA Cup goals against sides from the depths of English football? 

Yes, Chelsea were linked with Fernando Llorente, who in all fairness was actually quite the player back in the day.

Source: The Independant  

3. Salomón Rondón – West Bromwich Albion

Jose Salomon Rondon

Now here’s a sturdy chap if I ever did see one. 

The Blues were rumoured to be after the Venezuelan international before West Bromwich Albion got relegated and his subsequent loan move to Newcastle United.

Source: TalkSport 

4. Andy Carroll – West Ham United

West Ham United v Arsenal - Premier League

The Geordie Zlatan Ibrahimovi? let loose on the West London nightclub scene, what could possible go wrong?

Perennially injured, but most importantly, tall striker Andy Carroll was regarded as a Chelsea transfer target last year.

Source: The Guardian 

5. Marko Arnautovi? – West Ham United

Marko Arnautovic

Back in 2018 West Ham United’s Marko Arnautovi? was tipped for a big move to Chelsea.

Needless to say, it didn’t happen, but the player is believed to be on the brink of a big money move to China this January.

Source: ESPN 

6. Edin Džeko – Roma

FBL-ITA-SERIEA-ROMA-SASSUOLO

Hey, this one might have actually turned out pretty well!

Alas, the Bosnian powerhouse turned down a move to Stamford Bridge, opting to remain with Roma.

Source: The Guardian 

7. Ashley Barnes – Burnley

Ashley Barnes

To quote tennis legend John McEnroe: “You cannot be serious!”

Yes, multiple Premier League champions Chelsea were linked with a move for former Eastbourne Borough loanee Ashley Barnes. Well I never!

Source: Sky Sports 

8. Peter Crouch – Stoke City

Stoke City v Bolton Wanderers - Sky Bet Championship

Yes, Chelsea really were linked with Peter Crouch.

To be fair to Crouchy, he’s a former England international and scored many a Premier League goal in his day. Still though, not what the Blues really needed!

Source: Telegraph 

9. Islam Slimani – Leicester City

FBL-ENG-LCUP-LEICESTER-LEEDS

Such was Chelsea’s apparent desire to lure in a beefy boy, they were believed to be after Leicester City flop Islam Slimani.

The Algerian striker, now on loan at Fenerbahçe, scored a grand total of eight goals in three Premier League seasons.

Source: Leicester Mercury 

10. Moussa Marega – Porto

FBL-POR-LIGA-BOAVISTA-PORTO

Chelsea were tipped to splash out £35m on Porto striker Moussa Marega.

The Mali international was in the midst of netting 23 goals in a season for Porto, but the deal never materialised.

Source: The Sun 

11. Karim Benzema – Real Madrid

Karim Benzema

Would Karim Benzema really have considered giving up playing for Real Madrid in the Bernabéu to play Europa League football with Chelsea? Unlikely.

Still, it was mooted as possibility.

Source: Diario Gol 

12. Daniel Sturridge – Liverpool

Daniel Sturridge

Could re-signing Liverpool’s injury prone Daniel Sturridge have been the answer to all Chelsea’s problems?

No, no it couldn’t.

Source: Daily Mail 

13. Josh Magennis – Charlton Athletic

Josh Magennis,Lewis Dunk

In truth, this was a joke, and a funny one of that.

To poke fun at Chelsea’s never-ending quest for a lumpen frontman, Josh Magennis was touted as a possible signing for Chelsea. Shame on you all!

Source: Kent Live 

14. Luis Suárez – Barcelona

FBL-ENG-PR-LIVERPOOL-CHELSEA

Can you imagine? After what he did to our darling Branislav Ivanovi?!

Sadly, Barcelona’s Luis ‘Chompmaster’ Suárez was indeed believed to be on Chelsea’s radar for a short while.

Source: The Guardian 

15. Robert Lewandowski – Bayern Munich

Robert Lewandowski

Now this one would have been a lovely bit of business!

For what felt like an eternity, we were linked with Bayern Munich’s Polish goal-machine Robert Lewandowski, but it never happened. What a gutter!

Source: Daily Star 

16. Andrea Belotti – Torino

Andrea Belotti

This tiresome saga dragged on for a fair while, and it looked like a dead cert Chelsea would splash the cash on Torino striker Andrea Belotti.

For whatever reasons (financial, I would imagine), the deal never came to fruition.

Source: Daily Mail 

17. Mauro Icardi – Inter

Mauro Icardi

Fingers crossed, the Blues might actually get Inter’s Mauro Icardi come the summer 2019 transfer window.

It’s been on the cards (pardon the pun) for a long time now, and over the last 12 months it’s received a solid amount of coverage.

Source: Daily Mirror 

18. Ciro Immobile – Lazio

FBL-ITA-SERIEA-LAZIO-SPAL

Another Serie A striker, Ciro Immobile was rumoured to be ready to leave Lazio in a big money move to Stamford Bridge.

No wonder Chelsea were keen, with the player scoring 41 goals in 47 matches during the 2017/18 campaign.

Source: The Sun 

19. Timo Werner – RB Leipzig

Timo Werner

Liverpool look like they could be in with a shout of signing Timo Werner

But it was Chelsea who were first believed to have registered an interest in the RB Leipzig man last season.

Source: Express 

20. Krzysztof Pi?tek – Genoa

Genoa CFC  v Atalanta BC - Serie A

A relatively fresh rumour, Krzysztof Pi?tek has been recently touted as possible replacement for Morata.

The Genoa man has been in sublime form this season, scoring 19 goals in all competitions so far.

Source: Sky Sports 

21. Dries Mertens – Napoli

FBL-ITA-SERIEA-NAPOLI-BOLOGNA

I’d imagine the thinking behind this story was something along the lines of:

“Mauziro Sarri brought Jorginho in from Napoli…maybe he’d like to bring Dries Mertens along for the ride too?”

Source: CalcioMercato 

22. Edinson Cavani – Paris Saint-Germain

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During the height of his supposed ‘beef’ with Neymar, Chelsea were tipped as a possible sanctuary for the Uruguayan super striker.

Perhaps understandably, given the enormous wages and transfer fee, the Blues didn’t go for it.

Source: Express 

23. Neymar – Paris Saint-Germain

Neymar jr

Ah, you know what? Why not throw Neymar in too?

A real load of nonsense this, there was never any chance Neymar was going to relocate to SW6.

Source: Express 

24. Willian José – Real Sociedad

Willian Jose

Another Willian at Chelsea?! Scandalous! The #Willianout crowd will simply never allow it.

Still, the Pensioners were thought to be keen on the Real Sociedad man last summer.

Source: Marca 

25. Richarlison – Everton

Richarlison

Back in his days as a Watford player, before his big money move to Everton last summer, Chelsea were said to be after Richarlison.

The mercurial striker is anything but consistent, and the Blues definitely dodged a bullet here.

Source: Watford Observer  

26. Antoine Griezmann – Atlético Madrid

Antoine Griezmann

Do we really want the kind of player who, in a moment of unashamed narcism, announces he’ll remain at his club via a cringe-inducing video dubbed ‘The Decision’.

No – that’s the simple answer. Still, Chelsea were again linked with Atlético Madrid’s Antoine Griezmann last summer.

Source: Express 

27. Wilfried Zaha – Crystal Palace

Wilfried Zaha

Wilfried Zaha is destined to be a big fish in a small pond. He’s been excellent at Crystal Palace, but had a miserable time of things in a previous spell at Manchester United.

The Ivory Coast international was tipped to join Chelsea last August.

Source: Daily Mirror 

28. Romelu Lukaku – Manchester United

Romelu Lukaku

Remember when Manchester United were a laughing stock and doomed for mid-table medocrity? I miss those days, I truly do.

In the height of José Mourinho’s torrid spell, a bizarre rumour linked Romelu Lukaku with a dramatic Stamford Bridge return.

Source: Daily Star 

29. Anthony Martial – Manchester United

Anthony Martial

Another misfit of the Mourinho era at Man Utd, Chelsea were said to be dead keen on rescuing Anthony Martial from his tricky spell with the Red Devils.

With the ‘Special One’ sent packing, Martial too is now thriving again.

Source: Sky Sports 

30. Aleksandar Mitrovi? – Fulham

Aleksandar Mitrovic

Back to the big boys again, are we?!

Another one fresh off the press, Chelsea are believed to be after Newcastle United-misfit-turned-Fulham-superstar Aleksandar Mitrovi?.

Source: Daily Mirror 

31. Andre Silva – AC Milan

Andre Silva

A young striker with no goalscoring history who just flopped at AC Milan? Of course! We’d love to take him off your hands!

For some reason, the Blues were thought to have had an interest in Andre Silva as a potential Morata replacement.

Source: The Sun 

32. Patrick Cutrone – AC Milan

FBL-ITA-SERIEA-AC MILAN-SPAL

See above listing. Though perhaps less of a flop, it would be fair to say.

He’s set to be a star in the future, but there’s no way he’s ready to lead the line for Chelsea just yet.

Source: CalcioMercato 

33. Callum Wilson – Bournemouth

FBL-ENG-PR-MAN CITY-BOURNEMOUTH

£75m they want. Seventy-five million pounds for an injury prone, ex-Kettering Town loanee!

Still, he’s been superb in the last couple of seasons, and football finances are a bit crazy these days. Maybe it could happen after all…

Source: The Guardian 

34. Gonzalo Higuaín – Juventus

Gonzalo Higuain

This one looks like it probably is going to happen. Gonzalo Higuaín was an absolute goal scoring gem for Sarri at Napoli, and it would be just lovely if he could do it again at Chelsea.

It’s probably going to be a short-term loan deal, but given his advancing years, that’s not such a bit thing.

Source: The Guardian 

35. Cristiano Ronaldo – Juventus

FBL-ITA-SERIEA-JUVENTUS-SAMPDORIA

Really? Did they really think this was ever, ever going to happen?!

Apparently so. My word.

Source: The Sun 

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Sevilla Sporting Director Reveals What Halted Club’s Recent Pursuit of Alvaro Morata

?Sevilla sporting director Joaquin Caparros has revealed that the exorbitant fees quoted by Chelsea for their misfiring striker Alvaro Morata stopped the Spanish team from pursuing their interest in the player. 

Morata has struggled to acclimatize to the Premier League since joining the Blues as a replacement for Diego Costa in the summer of 2017, and has been strongly linked with a move away from Stamford Bridge this January. 

Alvaro Morata

The forward has just five goals in 16 league appearance for Maurizio Sarri’s side this season, and has been dropped for Eden Hazard as a false nine in recent times, with just two showings in his last seven games in the competition. 

Despite his poor form, a number of clubs are said to be interested in recruiting ?Morata, including Atletico Madrid and Barcelona, but one team who have bowed out of the running is Sevilla, as confirmed by Caparros.

Speaking to ?ESPN about Los Hispalenses chances of signing the Spaniard, their director of football admitted: “Sevilla are an appealing team for a lot of players and Morata wanted to come. We had talks but when we started talking about fees, we quickly realised that it was impossible and we gave up.”

It is understood that, though Chelsea are willing to let the 26-year-old leave this window, they would need to find a replacement before any deal is finalised, with Gonzalo Higuain and Callum Wilson the most prominently linked. 

They are also seeking the maximum compensation for the striker’s €9m a year pay package in any loan deal, and would prefer an option to buy to be included.

Atletico are duly the current frontrunners, and though their wage structure would need to be reorganised to facilitate the deal, it is certainly not beyond the realms of possibility for them to do so in order to land their man.

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