United nearly bought Chelsea goalkeeper

Petr Cech

Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has revealed that the Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech may well have moved to United prior to his transfer to Chelsea from French club Rennes.  The Chelsea goalkeeper was bought, along with former United target Arjen Robben, by Claudio Ranieri before Roman Abramovich came to power at Stamford Bridge.  Fergie spoke on how close United were ingetting the Czech Republic International.

United had a whole string of goalkeepers after Peter Schmeichel left for Sporting Lisbon in 1999, with some fans labeling the six years between the Dane leaving the club and United purchasing Van Der Sar as a United goalkeeper crisis!  Sir Alex Ferguson revealed that he watched the Chelsea keeper twice when the keeper was only 19 but thought he was too young to replace Schmeichel:

“I think Chelsea had a better nucleus when they started spending (than city). They bought well under Claudio Ranieri with Frank Lampard, Joe Cole, Arjen Robben and so on. Terry came through the youth system and they bought Petr Cech very cheaply as it turned out, at 21. We actually watched Cech. I saw him twice myself and I thought that at 19 he was a bit young. I was looking for someone to replace Peter Schmeichel and I thought that was a big ask.”

Petr Cech injured his head against Reading’s Andy Hunt and was advised to wear his head gear for the rest of his career. As you probably don’t have the same riches as Roman Abramovich and Chelsea, you might want to check out The Head Injury Site for head injury compensation.

United have found a solid keeper in the form of Van Der Sar, however the Ducthman will be 40 next season and Ben Foster spoke today of the ‘big 12 months ahead of him‘.

4 Comments on United nearly bought Chelsea goalkeeper

  1. Would have been great if SAF had got Cech, he truly missed out there! Does anybody think he has lost something though since his serious head injury? He seems more cautious going in for those diving low balls, where the incoming defender is rushing in? That might just be my imagination though! Cech is a very good goalkeeper though, and when you think about it Ranieri did bring in a nucleus of very good players, so SAF is right there.

  2. I agree Craig – since the Hunt incident Cech has lost that sense of invincibility about him. I still think he is a superb keeper, however they were without him for a vast amount of the 2006/07 season – which obviously benefited us a treat.

  3. Cech is certainly a solid keeper. Is he as good as he is made out to be?

    I’m not sure. Friedel and Given are both on that precarious line where you don’t know if they are amazing or if they excel because they are in that second tier of sides and have slightly more work to do. An opinion slightly confused by the fact that although van der Sar is and has been top drawer he was never highlighted as much as what Friedel and Given have been, when he was at Fulham.

    However van der Sar’s pedigree cannot be questioned given that the number of errors he has made is probably less than that of Cech in the same period of time.

    When Sir Alex signed van der Sar it was on the back of 5 dodgy years with goalkeepers (save for 2 decent seasons from Barthez though he was largely erratic) and we were flitting between Carroll and Howard, making for an uncomfortable defence. Yes Cech enjoyed a marvellous start to his Chelsea career but signing from Rennes would have been another risk for United and you can’t really argue with the long term effects considering each sides respective last 4 seasons.

    Sir Alex couldn’t take the risk of Cech and from the evidence suggested I think he may well have made more mistakes under a more concentrated view at United. I do think he’s an excellent keeper, I just think the signing of van der Sar is as good, and important, as any since that of Solskjaer.

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