Liverpool, Swansea, Ajax and Wigan Athletic have seen their custodians linked with a move to The Emirates in the past seven days. What does this mean for Wojciech Szczesny and the other keepers at The Emirates?
There is a widespread belief among the media that Arsenal will make a move for a new keeper in January. It comes after their problems in the department so far this season. Wojciech Szczesny suffered from injury from the beginning of the season while want away second choice Pole Lukasz Fabianski has also been injured. That left Arsenal with Vito Mannone, who despite impressing on occasions has not looked the standard necessary for a team of Arsenal’s merited level.
With this distinct lack of options it is believed Wenger wants to bring in a top-class stopper to rival his current number one for the jersey at The Emirates.
So who has been linked with the job?
The Ajax stopper has been spoken of in Dutch media as being watched and admired during the Eredivisie giants Champions League campaign this season. Available for around six-million euros the 26-year-old is currently having his best year yet for his boyhood club managing to earn his first cap for Holland earlier in the month and finally stepping out of the shadow of predecessor Maarten Stekelenburg.
The Swansea stopper was absent for the Germany friendly in which Vermeer made his debut and if he wasn’t would certainly have been ahead of him in the pecking order. A brilliant shot-stopper and possessing excellent sweeper skills that would be highly useful in Arsenal’s passing style at the right price could prove a great buy.
An optimistic link yes but a link nonetheless. The Spaniard was reportedly unhappy when he was denied the chance to talk to Arsenal in 2010 and Arsene Wenger will still harbour interest in the Anfield stopper. He has been in indifferent form of late which may tempt Rodgers into a sale but the only problem there is the lack of alternatives at Anfield.
Although Liverpool are reportedly looking at Wigan Athletic stopper Al-Habsi Arsene Wenger has also been credited with an interest. He has emerged as one of the Premier Leagues most potent stoppers and at a reported quote of £7 million Arsenal would not be paying over the odds for the Omani custodian.
The only issue that immediately springs to mind is that none of these options would consider sitting on the bench at The Emirates; all would expect to be immediate first choice between the sticks. That would therefore mean dropping Szczesny who Wenger stated this week was his number one:
“At the start of the season, he was number one, played well, then moved out of the team for injury, and then moved back.
“In my head, he was number one, so he gets the chance to show he is number one.
As cryptic as ever from Monsieur Wenger and his last comment summed up what seems to be an interesting story developing.
‘’It is now down to the performances of Wojciech. He has the qualities, he is a top keeper.”
Does this suggest Szczesny is playing for his jersey?
image: © Vincent Teeuwen