Football

Arsenal possess the Premier League's best goalkeeper in Petr Cech

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It was an issue Arsenal struggled to solve for quite some time: when would they find a goalkeeper worthy of replacing David Seaman?

Thankfully for the Gunners, Chelsea's decision to let Petr Cech go this summer has provided the answer.

While the Blues are languishing 15th in the league, Arsenal are level on points with league leaders Manchester City in second. Much of that is down to the prowess of their Czech Republic international, who is statistically the best goalkeeper in England.

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Manchester United's David de Gea has been branded the league's most promising young goalkeeper, however, he makes far fewer saves than his opposite number at the Emirates. EA Sports Player Performance Index shows Cech has made 37 saves for the Gunners so far this season, compared to De Gea's 18.

It could be argued the goalkeepers' success is in part down to the defensive qualities and frailties of the respective sides, but, of the four shot-stoppers to have played 900 minutes for their club this season, Cech has conceded the least.

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The Gunners 'keeper has let in a goal every 112.5 minutes compared to the other top ten Premier League goalkeepers, who have averaged a goal conceded every 110.2 minutes in total.

There is little doubt about how vital Cech is to Arsenal, as statistically Crystal Palace's Alex McCarthy is the second best goalkeeper in the league which equally reflects the Eagles' promising start to the campaign by their own standards, occupying seventh place.

Vital Cech

Of the three games Cech hasn't started, Arsene Wenger's side have suffered two defeats. Their shock Champions League losses at Dynamo Zagreb and at home to Olympiakos were without their first-choice goalkeeper, conceding five goals. However, they did manage a narrow 2-1 victory away to north London rivals Tottenham without the 33-year-old.

Jose Mourinho may be ruing the decision to let their stalwart goalkeeper leave for their London rivals, with current first choice, Thibaut Courtois, on the sidelines with injury. However, what is Chelsea's loss is Arsenal's gain.

The Gunners are five points better off than they were at the same stage last season with 22 after ten games. It is not a question of keeping Cech in their starting XI, as Wenger is unlikely to choose otherwise, but to ensure he stays injury free so Arsenal can continue their promising start.

Cech has proved to Chelsea they were wrong to make Courtois first choice this season, and could prove the key to helping Arsenal win their first league title since 2004.

Data courtesy of the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index, the Official Player Rating Index of the Barclays Premier League.

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Topics:
Premier League
Arsenal
Chelsea
Petr Cech
Football

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