Well, the transfer speculation over one of our players came to an end today, with the news that Carlo Cudicini has completed a move to Spurs.
Carlo Cudicini had been with us since 1999, initially on loan from Castel di Sangro and having seen his potential, we signed him on a permanent deal in 2000 for £160,000. On his arrival under the manager at the time, Gianluca Vialli, Cudicini became our first choice keeper, and deservedly so.
In the 2001-02 season he was voted Chelsea’s Player of the Year by fans and in the following season was recognised as the Premier League’s best keeper, winning the ITV “Golden Gloves” Premiership Goalkeeper of the season award.
The 2003-04 saw him forced out through injury and then the arrival of Jose Mourinho and more significantly Petr Cech in the 2004-05 season saw the Italian relegated to second choice. Petr Cech’s horrific head injury in the 2006-07 season – ironically in a game that eventually saw both keepers leave the field unconscious – gave Cudicini the opportunity to return to the first team and he signed a contract extension in February 2006, keeping him at Chelsea until the summer of 2009.
Cech returned to action in January 2007, again forcing Cudicini back out of the side and although there were opportunities to cover for the injured Cech in the 2007-08 season, Cudicini himself was pretty unlucky with injuries that season and made only 19 appearances in all competitions.
Cudicini’s first Premier League appearance for us this season came in our 5-0 win at the Riverside and marked his 100th clean sheet for Chelsea.
A lack of first team games and the 35 year old’s reluctance to leave Chelsea has seen him described as “the world’s most unambitious footballer”, although even his loyalty obviously had its limits because after almost ten years with us, he’s finally decided it’s time to move on.
Harry Redknapp and Spurs have got themselves a pretty good deal, especially since Chelsea decided to let Cudicini go on a free – mind you, at least now we know what Scolari meant when he suggested only a few days ago that Carlo Cudicini was not for sale!