2015 has been a very positive year for Arsenal. They’ve gone on their longest winning run since the Invincibles, won at both the Etihad and Old Trafford, are currently 10 games unbeaten, and are in control of their own destiny in the race for second. Yet, for all that positivity, there is still room for improvement. Even if they win their game in hand, they will be 10 points behind champions Chelsea. That shows despite improvement from the gunners, there is still work for Arsene Wenger to do in his squad.
One position that most Arsenal fans would agree they can improve at is goalkeeper. The gunners started the season with Wojciech Szczesny in goal. After he was caught smoking in the locker room showers, the Pole was dropped and David Ospina has started in goal ever since. While Ospina has done well since becoming the number one keeper, Arsenal have the financial clout to go out and buy an improvement. There are a number of different directions the gunners could go this summer when it comes to goalkeeper.
Iker Casillas has been heavily linked to Arsenal in recent weeks. It has been said that the Real Madrid legend has already agreed to join the gunners in the summer. While the Spaniard is a legend and the fact that goalkeepers have long careers, Arsene Wenger should not look to bring in the aging net minder. Casillas has been poor for the last two seasons and has shown that his best years are likely behind him. On top of that, the Real Madrid man is quite a small goalkeeper. Keepers from European leagues, especially Spain, tend to struggle with all the physicality and crossing in the Premier League. Add that to the fact that Saint Iker is only six feet tall and he could struggle.
Begovic hasn’t been that heavily linked to Arsenal, but with only a year remaining on his contract at Stoke he will most likely start being linked heavily when rumors really heat up. Again, I’d stay away from Begovic. He’s a good keeper with Premier League experience, but he’s been a bit mistake prone the last two seasons. After being one of the best keepers in the league in 2012/2013, the Bosnian’s performance levels have dropped and have taken him out of that top tier of goalkeepers. He’s a good goalkeeper, but he’s around the levels of Szczesny and Ospina, which would make buying him a bit redundant.
This would be the dream signing. Take out the fact that he’s Tottenham’s best player and captain*, Lloris is one of the top three keepers in the league and one of the best in the world. At just 28 years old, he’s still got plenty of time and he wouldn’t have to adjust to the Premier League. Additionally, he’s a Tottenham player and that would make Arsenal fans love the signing even more, but that also makes it more unlikely. There have been rumors of a buyout clause in his contract that Arsenal could activate this summer. That would at least give the gunners a chance since Spurs wouldn’t be able to block the move. Lloris is looking for Champions League football and his family loves London but it does still seem unlikely. It’s not often that players cross the divide between these two clubs, but if that buyout clause exists, Arsene Wenger should do everything in his power to convince his fellow Frenchman to come to the Emirates.
If Lloris is the dream signing, than Cech is the realistic dream signing. Another player from a London rival, but the Czech international has lost his number one spot to Thibaut Courtois and will be moving this summer. The soon to be 33 year old has bags of experience and, while some may suspect that his very best days are behind him, is still a very good goalkeeper that could take Arsenal to the next level. Again, this move relies on whether or not Arsene Wenger will be able to prise a player away from one of the club’s big rivals. It has been reported that, since he has been such a good servant to the club, Cech will get to choose where he goes. Depending on how true that reporting is dictates the possibility of this signing happening.
Staying with Ospina or Szczesny
They could of course stay with one of Szczesny or Ospina for next season. Only 12 months ago, Wojciech Szczesny was joint winner of the golden gloves and had one of the best seasons an Arsenal goalkeeper’s had in years, and Ospina has quite frankly done nothing wrong since coming into the side. Both of them are quite decent goalkeepers. If no one better is available, sticking with one of those two wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world.
It’ll be an interesting summer at the Emirates. Without any real glaring holes in the squad, it’ll be all about signing players that can provide quality depth and signing players that are as Arsene Wenger would say “top top quality.” Goalkeeper is a position that Arsenal aren’t exactly playing a liability at, but a player of “top top quality” wouldn’t hurt.