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Petr Cech to Decide Future After UEL Final Amid Chelsea Sporting Director Talk

Christopher Simpson@@CJSimpsonBRFeatured ColumnistMay 22, 2019

VALENCIA, SPAIN - MAY 09: Goalkeeper Petr Cech of FC Arsenal looks on prior to the UEFA Europa League Semi Final Second Leg match between Valencia and Arsenal at Estadio Mestalla on May 9, 2019 in Valencia, Spain. (Photo by TF-Images/Getty Images)
TF-Images/Getty Images

Arsenal goalkeeper Petr Cech said he will not decide his future until after the UEFA Europa League final with Chelsea amid reports he'll join the Blues as a sporting director this summer. 

Cech has announced his decision to retire from playing at the end of the season, and he'll reportedly be returning to his old club:

B/R Football @brfootball

Petr Cech is set to return to Chelsea as a sporting director, according to @SkySportsNews. His final game as a player will be the Europa League final with Arsenal…against Chelsea. https://t.co/94qVmuUrjl

The 37-year-old took to Twitter following the reports:

Petr Cech @PetrCech

Despite the news today as I had already said to everybody before , I’ll make decision about my future after the last game . Now my sole focus is to win the EL with @Arsenal .

Cech made 494 appearances for Chelsea in 11 seasons with the club before he left for Arsenal in 2015.

During his time at Stamford Bridge, he won four Premier League titles and as many FA Cups, three League Cups and the UEFA Champions League and Europa League once apiece.

The stopper has been behind Bernd Leno, who arrived last summer, in the pecking order at Arsenal this season, but he has been their No. 1 choice in the knockout phase of the Europa League.

Football.London's James Benge has no qualms about Cech playing against Chelsea in the final on May 29 even if he might join them this summer:

James Benge @jamesbenge

Shouldn’t surprise anyone that Cech is heading back to Chelsea, if that is the case. But I wouldn’t question his professionalism for a split second. If he plays he will give his all for Arsenal. Anything else is immaterial on the pitch.

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Nor would Goal's Charles Watts, though he would personally opt for Leno:

Charles Watts @charles_watts

Arsenal would have found a role for Cech, but there has always been an acceptance he would be going back to Chelsea. I would play Leno in Baku purely because he is the better keeper, but no way would I have doubts over Cech's integrity or anything like that.

It leaves manager Unai Emery with a dilemma for the showpiece.

Having utilised Cech throughout the knockout phase, it could be somewhat harsh to drop him for the final and what would be the last game of his excellent career.

On the other hand, Leno has leapfrogged Cech in the pecking order because the veteran is well past his prime, so using the German will give the Gunners a better chance of lifting the trophy and securing Champions League football for next season.

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