Arsenal have officially announced the signing of goalkeeper Petr Čech from Chelsea, on the traditional "long-term contract for an undisclosed fee." The widely-reported numbers to this point have been an £11 million fee on £100,000-a-week, so let's just go ahead and continue assuming that's a real thing.
I said this when the reports of a Monday announcement were first made, and I stand by it:
If this is true, and the announcement actually does come Monday, it's frankly amazing. Monday will be June 29, which would mean that the deal would be completed before July. That doesn't matter a ton in the grand scheme of things, but it's symbolically interesting considering the situation.
We're not only buying a player from a rival, but a very good player, and the rival is Chelsea as managed by Jose Mourinho. I was expecting him to drag his feet and make this deal a living hell to complete, but evidently his boss made him actually do the deal – so if that's the case, then I say this for the first, last, and only time: thank you Roman Abramovich for doing something respectable.
Here's what Arsène Wenger had to say on the Čech signing:
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.
And here's the player himself, on how the manager helped bring him in:
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.
There are now three ostensibly first-choice goalkeepers at Arsenal, so it remains to be seen how that will be handled. Either way, this is quite a good deal for Arsenal, in my opinion, and I'm pretty excited.