Petr Cech has revealed that Arsenal passed up the opportunity to bring him to London before his eventual move to French side Rennes.
Prior to his switch from Sparta Prague to Rennes in 2002, the Czech international was scouted by Arsenal. However, difficulties arose in obtaining a work permit and a lack of confidence from Arsenal scouts in his ability to play in the Premier League resulted in Cech missing the chance to sign for the Gunners.
The 28-year-old has since moved to Arsenal’s London rivals Chelsea and enjoyed six successful seasons with the Stamford Bridge club, but he does acknowledge that he came close to signing for Arsene Wenger's side.
"Before I went to Rennes I was watched by Arsenal but when I couldn't get a work permit the situation was missed," Cech explained.
"And at the last minute I think the person who was the chief scout at Arsenal didn't think I was good enough for the English league. So in the end it didn't happen."
Cech has been a stalwart in the Chelsea side throughout many managerial changes and proved integral to their success. The goalkeeper feels that Champions League football is a necessity for the Blues to achieve and that the Premier League title is not beyond Carlo Ancelotti's men.
"We're more secure at the back and we still have the opportunity to catch Manchester United if they start dropping points. ," he said.
"We are still dependent on all the others. But we have to win, win, win, and keep the pressure on. What is essential for a club like Chelsea is to have the stature of a club playing in the Champions League next season."
By Killian Woodscomments