With under a week to go until the transfer window closes, Arsenal are still yet to sign a senior player. The club had a poor start to the season on the opening day as they lost 3-1 to Aston Villa. The player who performed exceptionally poorly that day was Polish goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny. He not only conceded a penalty which was completely unnecessary but he also showed his naivety as he left his box on one occasion but Villa failed to capitalise as the Arsenal goalkeeper was left in no man’s land. This performance highlighted that Arsenal will need a new goalkeeper if they are to challenge for trophies as the Polish international will always be liable to make a mistake.
His 2012/13 campaign was hit by injury as he only played in 25 matches, in which he kept 10 clean sheets which is a respectable tally given he missed 13 matches. He made 72 saves which means his minutes per save was 31.25. Moreover he saved one of the three penalties he faces while he made three defensive errors.
This season hasn’t started well for the Polish goalkeeper as he has already conceded 4 goals in two matches. His minutes per save is better than last season as it currently stands at 22.5 as he has made 8 saves so far. He has already made one defensive error and he has made one penalty save from two penalties faced so far.
In the past few weeks, there have been links made to Tim Krul, Asmir Begovic and Julio Cesar. Its clear that Szczesny needs some top class competition to make him become more consistent as there is no doubt he has the talent required to be a top class goalkeeper. At the moment he is too comfortable which causes his form to be a bit up and down. Krul only played 24 matches last season and made more defensive errors (5) than the Arsenal keeper, however he made more saves (75), both of these could be contributed to the fact that the Dutchman played in the side which finished 16th in the league.
Stoke goalkeeper Begovic has started this season in great form as he is showing clubs in the Champions League how good a goalkeeper he really is. In only two matches, he has made 14 saves with the majority coming on the opening day as he gave a man of the match performance against Liverpool, as only a brilliant Daniel Sturridge effort found it’s way into the Stoke net. Meanwhile Brazilian number one Julio Cesar was one of the only bright lights in the relegated QPR side last season as he made an incredible 97 saves in only 24 matches which came every 21.65 minutes.
I think either Begovic or Julio Cesar would be perfect for Arsenal. The former would be a great signing as he is currently one of the best goalkeepers in the league and he would be very interested in a move to North London. His performance against Liverpool showed he was ready for a move to a bigger club, furthermore Stoke won’t be too difficult to negotiate with as they have a ready made replacement in Jack Butland. Meanwhile Cesar is older so he will offer steady competition to Szczesny for a few seasons but the Polish International will still be the long term answer to the goalkeeping position at Arsenal.