After losing the number one job to Thibaut Courtois at the start of the season, Petr Cech’s future with Chelsea has been the subject of on-going speculation.
Reported to be far from pleased about his relegation, the Czech Republic international told reporters back home last month that he would look for a solution in the winter transfer window if he continued to be confined to the bench, having made just five appearances for the Blues so far this term.
Manager Jose Mourinho has continued to stress his desire to keep Cech at Stamford Bridge, but also admitted last week that he would be powerless to prevent him from leaving should he demand a move in the coming months.
Since those comments, it’s been reported that London rivals Arsenal are in pole position to sign the £7 million-rated veteran, with Liverpool, Real Madrid, AC Milan and Roma also mentioned as potential suitors.
Whether there is truth to those rumours remains to be seen, with Mourinho himself dismissing them, but it’s worth considering whether Cech would in fact be a worthwhile signing for the Gunners.
Arsene Wenger already has an established keeper in Wojcieh Szczesny at his disposal, but questions remain over whether he can cut out the mental errors which have continued to plague his game over recent seasons.
That fact is evident in the stats above, and also moved Wenger to sign Colombia international David Ospina this summer, after witnessing the former Nice keeper star at the World Cup.
The £3 million man has since been ruled out until the New Year, however, after suffering a reoccurrence of a thigh problem last month, with Emiliano Martinez taking on number two duties in the meantime.
With no chance to prove himself between now and the winter window therefore, one has to wonder whether Wenger might consider bringing in a Premier League-experienced head like Cech should the chance present itself.
Looking at the data, the 32-year-old outperformed Szczesny's 2014-15 numbers in all categories bar goal kick accuracy last season, although it should be stressed that he had a more reliable back-four in front of him.
That said, it's interesting that he was forced to make more saves per game than the Pole has so far this term, while it's more than evident how much less error-prone he is than his Gunners counterpart.
Would the upgrade be worth the reported £7 million fee, though? In the modern game, such a figure doesn’t seem like a great deal to give up for a proven star, but then it has been well documented about how stubborn Wenger can be in the transfer market.
One man who has recently called for the Gunners to keep Szczesny in goal is former number one David Seaman, who believes that the ex-Legia Warsaw prospect has shown enough in his time at the Emirates Stadium to suggest his future is bright.
“He’s not making bad mistakes. He’s making great saves. He’s a big guy and he’s getting better because he came off his best season last season, winning a trophy,” Seaman told Goals on Sunday.
"I would have thought you could teach him the verbal side of things. It’s something that you learn. I didn’t go to Arsenal until I was 26 off the back of four years at QPR in the Premier League. I had all that experience and he’s learning at the highest level – the hardest level – and he’s only 24. People forget he’s still young and still has a lot of time.”
Would that advice from a club legend be enough to convince Wenger to ignore Cech, regardless of his superior talent? It seems all will be made clearer come the transfer window but, one thing’s for sure, he can’t let his career go to waste on the bench in west London.