New Chelsea goalkeeper Asmir Begovic has declared that his modern day idol is Petr Cech, the man he has been bought to replace, after sealing an £8m move from Stoke City yesterday.
The 28-year-old Bosnia-Hercegovina international has signed a four-year contract at Stamford Bridge and is set to provide competition for Chelsea No1 Thibaut Courtois.
Cech quit Premier League champions Chelsea for rivals Arsenal last month after being dislodged by Courtois as boss Jose Mourinho’s preferred goalkeeping option, and Begovic admits he has attempted to model his game on the veteran stopper.
“When I was coming through the ranks players such as Oliver Kahn and Francesco Toldo were at the top of their game, I loved them,” said Begovic. “In more recent years you look at people like Petr Cech, who is a club legend here.
“I used to look at his game because our size and physique are quite similar. I try to pick up bits and pieces from everyone but as the years have gone on I’ve looked to develop my game and put my own stamp on things.”
Begovic became Chelsea’s second signing of the summer after the capture of striker Radamel Falcao on a season-long loan from Monaco, and insists the influence of Mourinho was key in his decision to sacrifice guaranteed first-team football at Stoke.
“After speaking to Jose Mourinho at length, I knew this was where I wanted to be,” added Begovic. “I was very much attracted to the whole challenge, for me that was the biggest thing.
“He didn’t make any guarantees. I need to earn my place and show my qualities. I’m confident I can make an impact. Being part of a team that wins trophies is what it’s all about. I think that was the next step for me in my career.”