Arsenal’s goalkeeping situation is getting more and more desperate, and the pressure is mounting on Arsène Wenger to sign a replacement for the increasingly gaffe-prone Manuel Almunia and Łukasz Fabiański. It’s a dilemma that has been clear to Arsenal fans for some time, and one that has been underlined by their conceding five (in an incredible 6-5 win) in a friendly against Legia Warsaw on Saturday.
The name that has been bandied around the Emirates all summer is that of Mark Schwarzer, the 37-year old Aussie who Wenger could’ve signed on a free two years ago. Reports over the past couple of days have suggested that Schwarzer had handed in a transfer request in order to force through a move to North London, but Fulham have come out and stated that they intend to keep hold of their No. 1 with the beginning of the Premiership season just three days away.
Schwarzer age means he’d be a cheap but short term solution, so Wenger is also reported to be interested in Lyon keeper Hugo Lloris. The 23-year is highly-rated in France, having moved to the Ligue 1 runners-up from Nice in 2008. Despite his lack of experience, Lloris was selected for France’s three group stage games at the World Cup in the summer (although we all know how that campaign turned out). He would reportedly, however, cost the Gunners something in the region of £18million; and Wenger is not a manager known to splash the cash (not that there’s much cash to splash at Arsenal).
Wenger may alternatively turn to Man City’s Shay Given, who will be looking for a move once he finds himself bench-warming in the opening game against Spurs on Saturday. Given would certainly come easier than Schwarzer or Lloris, and Wenger may even be able to bring him in on a season-long loan deal. He wouldn’t necessarily have to do it before the transfer window closes, following City’s landmark case of ‘if your goalkeepers are rubbish, you don’t have to abide by the transfer window’.
Along with a couple of sensible ideas, I feel the need to throw in an outlandish one as well: Liverpool’s Pepe Reina to head south for a fee of £23million. Given that Arsenal’s transfer record is Andei Arshavin at £15million, and that Liverpool would be knackered without him, and that this story originated in The Sun, I think it’s fair to dismiss this one.
I do, however, think that we’ll see a new keeper at Arsenal before the window closes; they simply can’t go on with Almunia and Fabiański. If there’s any Gooners out there, who would you fancy seeing between the sticks at the Emirates?
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