One of the many things that this season has taught Arsene Wenger, must surely be that he was wrong not to invest in an experienced goalkeeper last summer.
Arsenal’s goalkeeping situation has been laughable for the best part of the last half-decade. Since Jens Lehmann left the club, the Gunners have had to put up with a number of no-hopers and hapless, flappy-handed error-magnets. And for a club chasing a top four place (and potentially silverware) that’s a more or less unacceptable situation for Arsenal to be in.
Manuel Almunia has been shipped out, Lukasz Fabianski doesn’t seem to be threatening the first team and Vito Mannone certainly isn’t good enough. If Szczesny puts in a poor performance, or picks up an injury, the Gunners have nobody they can look to.
And I’d argue that Szczesny is part of the problem. As much as I like the young Polish stopper, he’s not the solution to Arsenal’s goalkeeping crisis – not right now, any way. What’s more, he definitely can’t handle the goalkeeping duties alone. He needs somebody to step up and support him, somebody he can learn from and whose example he can follow.
Yes, he’s only 20-years-old, but like Szczesny, he’s a keeper who has developed a real reputation at a young age. Unlike the Polish keeper though, mistakes aren’t a regular part of his game and he’s not quite so bold and brash.
He’s earned plaudits for his shot-stopping, but he’s also a confident young thing, who knows how to marshal defenders and isn’t afraid to speak up when necessary.
His agent, Matteo Roggi recently spoke to the Press about his client’s future: “There are many clubs interested in him: Arsenal, Barcelona, AC Milan. It has also been said about Juventus, Napoli and Roma. Just a month ago we extended his contract until 2017 and Mattia’s cost is at least €20 million.”
That works out at around £17.4m, which is a lot of money for a young player, especially a keeper. But it’s not David De Gea type money and that’s at least the talent level we’re looking at here.
I’d love to see Wojciech Szczesny battling it out for his first team place with a player with as much quality as Mattia Perin. It may be a move that stops the complacency and adds consistency to the Gunners’ defence.
What’s your take? Should Arsenal be in the market for this young keeper?
Please follow @ThePerfectPass for more football related action!
Introducing the neat little app that’ll pay you to view content tailored to your interests:
ThisisFutbol.com are seeking new writers to join the team! If you’re passionate about football, drop us a line at “email@example.com” to learn more.