Arsenal are facing a dilemma in their lineup yet again. Mikel Arteta is desperate to find a backup for his first-choice goalkeeper Bernd Leno. Though the German has been doing well and has five clean sheets in a row, Arteta wants a quality keeper as his No.2. Emiliano Martinez was Arsenal’s best secondary keeper, but the Argentine left the North Londoners to join Aston Villa in the summer transfer window. Martinez has been playing at his best for Villa since and has more game-time there.
The replacement Arsenal signed for Martinez was Alex Runarsson. But Mikel Arteta does not trust him to be a capable backup for Bernd Leno. Also, the recent departure of Matt Macey to join Hibs, have left Arsenal off-track. Hence, the Spanish manager is keen to sign a quality ball-stopper before deadline day. Arteta has had several players on his list, but one of his choices is exquisite.
Freddie Woodman, the World Cup winner keeper of England’s U-20 squad of 2017. Woodman has been a center of attraction since his top-class performances back at the World Cup. The Englishman was able to save a costly penalty for his team which was key to the triumph of the U-20 squad. Mikel Arteta has identified the Swansea City youngster as one of the best options Arsenal can sign.
Possessing such a player would be reassuring for the Gunners. Bernd Leno has been great for Arsenal since his arrival, but the German is prone to injuries. And if such a scenario takes place, Arsenal can play with the peace of they have a stopper with skills that are on par with their first-choice keeper.
A transfer soon is hard, but not impossible:
Although Freddie Woodman is at the helm of Mikel Arteta’s shortlist. The move in this window looks pretty hard to push through. Woodman is currently on loan at Swansea City from Newcastle United
Freddie is currently in his second loan spell at Swansea. The contract runs until May after which he will return to Newcastle if they don’t think about extending his services. The stopper has a very good record for Swansea in the Championship with 14 clean sheets in 23 appearances. Gunners understand that he has great potential and hence hopes to lure him to Emirates stadium.
Transfermarkt rate the youngster at £6.3 million, which Arsenal must be comfortable with. But Newcastle United may up the bars as they will surely be reluctant to let go of their young talent. However, Freddie’s father Andy Woodman is the head of the U-23 goalkeepers, this is likely to give an edge for Arsenal.
Mikel Arteta has the support of Edu on this matter as well. So the duo will try to find a suitable keeper to join their ranks soon. Freddie Woodman is not the only target on their list, but he is a really valuable player to possess if they can come up with a deal.
Other options for Arsenal.
In addition to Freddie Woodman, Arsenal are reportedly eyeing a list of other suitable players. Barcelona ace Neto Murara is also a target for the Gunners. But the Brazilian keeper comes with bigger wage bills and will surely demand more game-time. However, Neto has more experience in contrast to Freddie and can be played as a regular first choice as well.
In addition to Neto, Sergio Romero and David Raya are also possible options. But it is largely unlikely for Arsenal to sign Sergio Romero. Despite the Argentine’s vast experience and top-class keeping skills, his age will be a problem for the Gunners. Romero is 33-years-old now and is nearing the end of his career. With Leno as their first choice, signing Romero would not be a great idea. The North Londoners will look to sign a player who is younger and can replace Leno in time.
David Raya is a good option, the 25-year-old is at his best for Brentford. But Arsenal may have to wait until the end of the season to sign him as the Bees are desperate to secure their promotion. And Raya is a key member of the squad and Brentford will be reluctant to lose him midway.
Mikel Arteta has plenty of options to choose from and is likely to sign a key recruit soon. Arsenal are also looking good currently keeping a five-game unbeaten run. They lie 10th on the Premier League table after their victory last night. Mikel Arteta looks to have found some new motivation for his squad recently. Securing more wins will help them shorten the gap to the top-four spot.