We do not have a good enough backup goalkeeper.
In fact, I’d go as far as saying we actually don’t have one at all. At one point, we were faced with the potential of two top-drawer goalkeepers going head-to-head in an all out royal rumble for the Arsenal number one spot.
Emiliano Martinez vs Bernd Leno. It would have been an engrossing battle to watch on from the sidelines. Our fanbase is inconveniently split on who should have been number one, but regardless of the side you’re on, only one came out on top. Money accrued was pivotal to that.
Matt Macey, who previously expressed his desire to leave Arsenal this summer, was at one point third-choice to two excellent keepers.
The gigantic 26-year-old has made just two senior appearances for the club in six years and is no closer to boosting those figures. His only meaningful loan spell came two seasons ago with Plymouth Argyle in League One. He featured 34 times.
Martinez settled all nerves when he made the step up after Leno’s injury, but I can’t say I expect Macey to do likewise.
Opting (forced) to bring in reinforcements, Rúnar Alex Rúnarsson joined from Dijon for little over £1m, backed by a supremely uninspiring record in Ligue 1. Arriving off the back of Inaki Cana’s recommendation, Rúnarsson is very much a work in progress as opposed to a ready-made option.
Nevertheless, he has taken up the spot on the bench for matchday squads ahead of Macey, indicating there is a certain degree of confidence in his ability.
He too, however, hardly incites assurance. Playing second fiddle in a struggling Ligue 1 side, the general consensus is that he would be third-choice behind the other goalkeeper Arsenal want to bring in. This was David Raya. The Gunners had bids rejected by Brentford for the Spaniard – who crucially classes as homegrown – but the Bees’ stance never waned and they refused to sanction a move north of the capital.
It is expected that Arsenal will return next year with an offer.
As it is, should Leno fall foul to injury then the team is at a frightening weakness. This area was not addressed in the window and we’re now left to cross our fingers for Leno getting through the calendar year with a clean bill of health. I wouldn’t be confident with either instead.