Just when Arsenal fans thought it was safe to start believing in their goalkeeper again, Wojciech Szczesny went a threw a curve ball (right into his own net). Since David Seaman left back in 2003, the Gunners have gone through a chain of lacklustre goalies, with only Jens Lehmann truly distinguishing himself. Fans have had to put up with the likes of Manuel Almunia, Lukasz Fabianski, Vito Mannone (and Almunia again) all of whom don’t seem capable of holding their own between the sticks.
So fans were no doubt overjoyed to oversee Szczesny’s rise to prominence over the last couple of seasons. The lanky Pole looked calm, assured and assertive. He’s proven himself to be a fine shot-stopper and is confident enough to cajole and organise the Gunner’s defence. When he’s on form he looks like the real deal. Good job then that he’s expressed his desire to continue his career as Arsenal’s first choice goalkeeper for 15 years. The trouble is, he’s still young – only 22-years-old, that’s about 18-years-old in goalkeeping years – and he’s prone to odd mistake.
Errors against the likes of Tottenham and Norwich City (last weekend) have cost Arsenal big. There are also occasions where he seems to completely lose his cool and forget the basics. It wouldn’t surprise me at all if Arsene Wenger was trying to establish some form of contingency plan. Could the Gunners be about to bring in a more experienced keeper to help ease the burden that has been placed on Szczesny’s shoulders?
According to the Daily Mail, Arsenal are lining up a ‘swoop’ for Swansea City’s goalkeeping revelation Michel Vorm. It’s claimed that senior scours have been sent to watch the Dutchman work his magic and have sent back positive reports. Emirates 24/7 took the same story and called it a ‘crazy buy’ for Arsene Wenger.
I don’t see what’s so crazy about it. Almunia’s contract is up at the end of the season and he’s likely to move on (potentially to West Brom) whilst Fabianksi and Mannone may also seek a move away. This is an area that Arsenal will almost certainly be looking at over the summer. As such, it makes sense to look at Vorm, who has proven himself to be a class act this season. He’s been absolutely essential to Swansea’s success this season, pulling off incredible stops and saving penalties.
There’s the question of whether he’d be first choice at Arsenal or whether he’d play understudy to Szczesny (and indeed whether Vorm would be willing to play this role). That’s something that can be debated at another time. What’s clear is that the Dutchman has the quality to play for a top side and it’s not so ‘crazy’ to suggest that the Gunners may be interested in him.
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