Chelsea holding midfielder Nemanja Matic voiced concern over the sale of Petr Cech to Chelsea’s local Premier League rivals Arsenal.
Cech was supplanted as the side’s number one goalkeeper last season by Thibaut Courtois, and left the Blues this summer in search of regular first-team football.
And in what was a shock move, Cech decided to join the Gunners.
“Petr is a great guy and a great keeper,” Matic told reporters. “It is going to be a very important signing for them.
“But I am not happy because of that. We know that he is very professional. He is one of the best keepers. And I hope this season he does not perform as he did here for 10-11 years.
“I am happy for him because he gets to stay in London, which for him and his family was very important. I wish him all the best.”
Matic, whom Chelsea first purchased in 2009, also briefly left the club in 2011, when he joined Benfica. He returned in January of 2014, converted from a playmaker to a defensive midfielder, and has since developed into one of the world’s best in the position, playing an integral role in Chelsea’s Premier League triumph.
The two former teammates are set for their competitive reunion on August 2nd, when Chelsea face Arsenal in the Community Shield. Cech will be looking to start against his former club, but refused to take his place for granted, telling the Times:
“I hope to be on the winning side again, it’s as simple as that.
“I play football to win games and obviously I will be facing Chelsea soon, so I want to beat them. There are a lot of things in common between the two clubs.
“Anything can happen here, but I have now have a fresh start to compete for my place. It’s up to me how well I do.”
The Czech Republic international also had a few words of praise for his team, hailing their “extraordinary team-spirit”, and their balance of youth and experience ahead of the London rivals’ season-opening clash.
The Gunners finish their pre-season preparation with games against Lyon and Wolfsburg in the Emirates Cup, while Chelsea come up against Paris Saint-Germain and Barcelona.