Petr Cech will start Saturday’s derby clash against Chelsea, Arsenal manager Unai Emery has confirmed.
The Czech Republic international was handed the gloves for last weekend’s season opener against Manchester City, but after a 2-0 defeat questions were raised over his long-term future in the position.
Emery had added to his goalkeeping pool in the summer with the capture of highly rated Bayer Leverkusen shot-stopper Bernd Leno for £19.2 million ($25m), with Leverkusen themselves among those who ridiculed Cech for his apparent inability to play out from the back.
The 26-year-old German is considered a neater fit to Emery's prefered playing style, but the former Paris Saint-Germain boss is not about to axe Cech ahead of a visit to Stamford Bridge.
“For Saturday, the decision for me is easy,” Emery told the media at his Thursday press conference. “Petr Cech can continue to start the match, I believe in him. But if Bernd started, I’d believe in him too.
“I am very happy with Cech’s performance. He has experience, he has quality, he has the capacity.
“It’s the same, with Bernd Leno. They are two goalkeepers who are important for us. They have different qualities but for us in the way we want to play, they can both play.”
It was a reiteration of what the coach had implied earlier in the week when he said the newcomer would have to wait for his chance to shine.
Cech, 36, spent 11 years with the Blues, where he played 333 league games and won the Champions League in 2011-12. Additionally, he won four Premier League titles during his stay at Stamford Bridge.
Since moving to Arsenal in 2015, silverware has been harder to come by, although he was in the Gunners’ squad the claimed the 2016-17 FA Cup with victory over his former club.