Petr Cech adds much-needed aura and charisma to Arsenal, according to manager Arsene Wenger.
The Czech Republic international joined Wenger’s squad from Chelsea in the off-season, helping his new club sit second in the Premier League table.
Cech, 33, impressed at Rennes before his move to England in 2004, with Wenger lamenting the speed at which Arsenal moved for the shot-stopper back then.
But with the veteran now on board, Wenger said he added more than just his ability to Arsenal.
“He has brought his experience, his calmness and his leadership as well. He has been good and highly focused,” he said ahead of Monday’s clash with Manchester City.
“I don’t want to be detrimental to David Ospina because he was exceptional last year, but Petr Cech has done it all, so he is someone who gives you an aura, a charisma that is always important in the big games for the players.
“I met him before I signed him and we had a long discussion about the game and the job and his position, and I was deeply impressed by his knowledge, by his professionalism, by his detailed knowledge. So since I have not been surprised, because I got the whole package in one go.”
Wenger said he had the opportunity to bring Cech to Arsenal before the goalkeeper joined Chelsea.
“My biggest regret is I did not sign him earlier – I had the chance when he was at Rennes,” he said.
“Sometimes that comes into my mind – it just makes me think that I missed him and how it could have changed for us if we had signed him in that period. We should maybe have been quicker on the day than Chelsea.
“We were maybe not sharp enough.”