SINGAPORE - Arsenal new signing Petr Cech has excited many fans, and the Czech Republic goalkeeper can count vice-captain Per Mertesacker as one of his admirers.
"From day one you felt his presence, he's the type of player to communicate well on and off the pitch," the German said at a Barclays Asia Trophy press conference on Tuesday. "I think he can add that extra miss that we have at the moment and we are very happy with him and I think he has a good feeling as well about joining us. With him, we feel much stronger."
Cech enjoyed a tremendous stint with rivals Chelsea where he held numerous goalkeeping records, which includes three golden gloves and a club record of 220 clean sheets in all competitions.
"The relationship between the back four and goalkeeper is important," said Mertesacker. "Communication is vital in so many situations so it gives you confidence when you have someone with his presence. We feel quite confident in the back and we feel stronger with Petr Cech."
Cech's signing for £10 million (S$21.1 million) was something Gunners fans worldwide praised, with observers noting that Cech is the first world class shot-stopper at the club since German Jens Lehmann left the Gunners in 2008.
Manager Arsene Wenger also praised Cech, but said he was never too worried about the strength of their defence.
"If you go back to the numbers, we have no goalkeeping problem," the manager told members of the media at The Grand Hyatt hotel. "In the last 19 games we conceded 13 goals… we improved our record during the season and we want to maintain and stabilise that and if possible, improve on that."
The Gunners are in Singapore for the pre-season Barclays Asia Trophy tournament, which includes two other Premier League teams, Stoke City and Everton and a Singapore Select XI.
Arsenal play a Singapore XI on Wednesday at 6 pm at the National Stadium.