When Wojciech Szczesny first rose to prominence at the Emirates, he was heralded as Arsenal’s great goal-keeping hope. Two-or-three years on and I think it’s fair to say that his stock has fallen. From being one of the best young keepers in the game, he’s now earned a reputation for being rash, error-prone and mentally-weak.
That’s quite a fall from grace, especially considering that the Pole is just 23-years-old. It’s disappointing that a player who was able to get fans on side so quickly was able to lose them with a pace that matched.
The truth is that the Emirates is a genuine pressure cooker. With every player under intense analysis in every game, every mistake is blown up and it becomes something more. Players are quickly scapegoated and this is likely to have an effect on the player’s mentality.
Szczesny, for instance, made a number of high-profile mistakes last season, picked up his fair share of flack and was then promptly dropped. His confidence was severely knocked and there were questions over his future.
Despite a fine performance against Fenerbahce on Wednesday night, the questions remain. The speculation is only likely to increase, especially with the Gunners getting linked to some high profile goal-keeping targets.
The Mail, for instance, have claimed that Arsenal are weighing up a ‘dramatic’ move for Real Madrid keeper Iker Casillas. This would be quite something - if the Gunners pulled off this move, you get the feeling that their goalkeeping woes would be over.
Though Casillas is a Madrid legend, it’s thought that he’s become restless at the Bernabeu after losing his place in the starting line-up whilst Jose Mourinho was in charge.
Unfortunately, The Mail also note that Arsenal aren’t willing to splash the cash on the Spanish captain (how typical!). It’s believed that the Gunners are ready to launch an £8m bid, whilst Real Madrid wont listen to anything below the £15m.
Though Casillas is getting on in years (he’s now 32), £15m is still a good price for a man who is among the top two-or-three goalkeepers in world football.
Given Arsenal’s pressing need, this looks to be a bit of a no brainer. Casillas would be able to take the reins, with Szczesny working hard behind the scenes to win his place back. That sounds like a recipe for success to me.
What’s your take? Should the Gunners go in for Casillas?
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