Emiliano Martinez’s Arsenal career looks to be coming to an end as Aston Villa look to seal a deal in the coming days.
He’s a player I certainly don’t want to see leave, in fact it was my personal preference to see him take over the number one spot at Arsenal this season, such was the impact he made towards the end of last season.
However, it seems that Mikel Arteta can’t provide him with the first team football he craves and the decision has been made to move him on, according to the latest from the Telegraph. Now the question is who do we bring in to fill the void? In my opinion, there is no need to spend big on a replacement goalkeeper, so a cheap option or even a loan signing would be our best bet.
We also have to take into account that any replacement would have to be happy getting splinter’s in their backsides on a weekly basis, as it’s clear Bernd Leno is the undisputed number one. As such, here are three candidates.
He’s the man who we seem to have our eye on for the replacement spot if various sources are to be believed. At 24 years old, he fits the criteria of a someone who can be a back-up goalkeeper in the Premier League despite being number one at Brentford last season – and impressing.
He’s young enough to be happy to sit around and wait for an opportunity to be number one as long as he’s getting game time in the games no one really cares about. I watched Brentford on a few occasions last season and for me Raya really stood out, he’s confident playing as a sweeper keeper and is passing ability would suit well with our playing style.
He possesses great reflexes and his save percentage of 75.19% last season was very good considering he actually doesn’t face many shots. Height-wise he isn’t the tallest standing at only six foot tall, but I’m sure Iker Casillas will tell you that you don’t need to be tall to be a good goalkeeper.
A transfer fee would likely be a problem, however, considering he was a key player for Brentford last season so I would expect a fee of around £15m would have to be paid to acquire his services, and when you consider we have other areas to improve is spending that much really feasible?
Granted there has be no links to Lunin whatsoever, he is just personal preference of mine and someone who would meet the loan signing criteria I mentioned earlier, as opposed to spending a fee on any replacement goalkeeper.
A loan deal would likely suit both parties considering that he is nowhere near the first team at Real Madrid, and although he wouldn’t be first choice at Arsenal, he could gain valuable experience by playing in the European games.
Lunin is rated as one of the top prospects in world football and was number one for Zorya in Ukraine before transferring to Madrid. He has great reflexes and shot stopping abilities, and is remarkably calm under pressure for someone so young. He is still very raw, however, and his positional sense and ball distribution needs work, but as Arteta loves working with youngsters I’m sure he would relish working with someone of Lunin’s potential.
From two goalkeepers at the beginning of their careers, to a goalkeeper approaching the end of his. Five years ago there were many fans – including myself – who would have been happy to see Forster as the number one at Arsenal. Since then he has suffered a bit of a fall from grace, where he has struggled to get anywhere near the Southampton first team.
He is returning from a successful loan spell at Celtic where he was again a double winner and he did enjoy vast success with them before he moved to the English top-flight, so he has that winning mentality our dressing room needs.
At six foot seven he’s an absolute giant at the back and will be a commanding presence when dealing with crosses or set pieces from wide areas. Despite his build he is incredibly agile and is an amazing shot stopper, as anyone who saw him play against Arsenal a few seasons back will remember.
With his age he has become prone to the odd error (so he should fit in well then) which could be a negative point, as could we really rely on him long-term should Bernd Leno suffer another serious injury. I’m sure a potential transfer fee would not be a problem seeing how he is not wanted at Southampton, so we could get him for next to nothing or even on a free if we ask nicely.