Arsenal must sign Petr Cech to win Premier League title

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No team occupied first place in the Premier League table last season longer than Arsenal. The Gunners spent 128 days in pole position thanks to an excellent start to the 2013/14 campaign before, somewhat predictably, capitulating in the final months of the season.

In an attempt to ensure that history doesn't repeat itself next season, Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger is in currently the process of assembling a team capable of staying with the likes of Chelsea and Manchester City for the long haul.

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The £32 million acquisition of Chile international Alexis Sanchez and the addition of France international Mathieu Debuchy is a hugely encouraging start. If they can add a world-class holding midfielder to their ranks, plus another central defender to replace Thomas Vermaelen, then they will start the 2014/15 season among the favourites to win the title.

However, the Gunners' 10-year wait to lift the Premier League trophy will roll into an 11th year unless Wenger secures the services of a world-class goalkeeper - and, specifically, a world-class keeper who plays over in west London for rivals Chelsea.

Petr Cech: No longer needed by Chelsea

Petr Cech may harbour hopes of retaining his number one jersey, despite the arrival/return of Thibaut Courtois, but his chances of doing that look extremely slim.

That Jose Mourinho wants Courtois as his number one goalkeeper from the start of next season shouldn't be used as evidence to suggest that Cech is in decline - even though he turned 32 in May.

Courtois was arguably the best goalkeeper in Europe last season. The Belgium international played a pivotal role in helping loan club Atletico Madrid claim their first La Liga title since 1996 and, with just two years left on his contract, Mourinho simply can't afford to allow the 22-year-old to walk away from Stamford Bridge by sticking with the ageing Cech.

Video: Szczesny's infamous mistake v Birmingham

Arsenal: Perfect for Cech

Cech will soon be on the lookout for a new club. But, having spent 10 years at Chelsea, he and his family are settled in London. Arsenal are the only London-based club - with the exception of the Blues - who can match his wages and ambition. A move, therefore, makes perfect sense for both parties.

It's hard to envisage Arsenal winning the Premier League title with Wojciech Szczesny in goal. The Poland international is prone to lapses in concentration and is some way off the world-class bracket.

But imagine the confidence boost that would emanate through the entire Arsenal team if the unpredictable Szczensy was replaced by the brilliant Cech, who was named in the PFA Team of the Year just last season.

Arsenal have lacked a reliable goalkeeper since David Seaman departed in 2003 - Jens Lehmann was talented but unpredictable - and will continue to concede silly goals with the second-rate Szczesny in between the sticks.

Mourinho unlikely to sell to Wenger

Had relations between Arsene Wenger and Jose Mourinho been warmer, the deal to take Cech to the Emirates Stadium may have already gone through.

As things stand, though, Mourinho is unlikely to provide a favourable response if Wenger makes an approach for any of his players - even if Cech demands to leave Stamford Bridge.

But if there's even the slightest hint that Mourinho is willing to do business, Wenger must act swiftly and decisively.

After all, failure to do so could cost Arsenal the 2014/15 Premier League title.

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Petr Cech
Wojciech Szczesny
Premier League

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