Arsenal midfielder Mathieu Flamini has thanked Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho for doing the Gunners a “favour” and allowing Petr Cech to make the move to the Emirates.
Cech completed a reported £11m move to Arsenal in June, calling an end to the 33-year-old’s 11-year career with the Blues>
Flamini admits he was shocked by Mourinho’s decision to allow him to join one of Chelsea’s biggest rivals and says it could come back to haunt the Portuguese manager this season.
“I was really surprised because he really doesn’t do that kind of thing,” Flamini is quoted as saying by The Sun.
“He’s a competitor who doesn’t usually sell any players to his rivals. But he’s done us a real favour.
“When you play at the top level, it’s not just about quality but also about character.
“The leaders on the pitch make the difference, not only when things go well but especially when things go bad.
“So, for us, Petr is a top signing. He is someone with character and a winning mentality. And we’ve been lucky on this one.”
Cech dropped behind Thibaut Courtois in the pecking order at Stamford Bridge, leaving the Czech Republic international frustrated on the sidelines.
It is believed he had interest from Ligue 1 giants Paris Saint-Germain, but Cech was keen to remain in London, making Arsenal an obvious choice.
Cech will face his old teammates on Sunday as Arsenal take on Chelsea in the Community Shield on Sunday.
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