Fergie: “In 2003 I went to see Petr Cech in goal for Rennes in a game against Auxerre. We thought Petr was a bit young for the bruisers in the Premier League, but Petr went to Chelsea and in the subsequent decade kept 220 clean sheets for the club.”
Name: Petr Cech
Then: When Chelsea fans heard that they would be signing a relegation-threatened Rennes keeper, you could forgive the scepticism. After all, Chelsea had one of the top stoppers in the Premier League already at their disposal. In spite of his side’s woes, Cech was certainly no mug. At his former club, Sparta Prague, he held the Czech Republic record of not conceding a goal in 903 minutes of competitive football.
Now: As Ferguson’s words suggest, not signing Cech was a huge mistake. Just months after signing for Chelsea, Cech had established himself as one of the finest stoppers in world football. With Chelsea, he won four league titles, four FA Cups, four League Cups, a Europa League and the Champions League. After the emergence of Courtois in 2013, Cech’s time at Chelsea was all but up. In the summer of 2015, Cech was transferred to local rivals, Arsenal, for a fee of around £10 million.