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Unai Emery: Petr Cech will start Saturday

Arsenal v Chelsea - International Champions Cup 2018 Photo by Charles McQuillan/Getty Images

Unai Emery went out this summer and got himself a shiny new goalkeeper in Bernd Leno, which I’m reasonably sure we all thought would spell the end of the Petr Cech era at Arsenal. Then, last week, Cech started against City, which you could maybe paint as wanting an experienced keeper behind a new-ish midfield and defense against the best team in the Premier League, so it was understandable on some level.

Today, though, Emery went out on a slightly less understandable limb:

“For Saturday, the decision for me is easy. Petr Cech can continue to start the match, I believe in him. But if (in future) Bernd starts, I believe in him also.”

While I don’t believe that Cech should be immediately discarded in favor of whatever new shiny shows up, I also tend not to believe that teams spend £20 million on goalkeepers just to stick them on the bench for the season. I’m obviously not privy to Arsenal’s training sessions, so I don’t really know what’s going on in the day-to-day, but something is making Emery stick with Cech, and at this point I’m not entirely sure what that is.

Is this the end of the world? Not really, because Cech is still decent. But it is puzzling.