His performance against Aston Villa, during the Gunners’ 3-1 defeat was disappointing to say the least. Whether he was rushing out at the wrong moment, or failing to get his hands to stoppable shots, Szczesny’s performance was way under par.
Still, he did save a Christian Benteke penalty (before the big Belgium headed in the rebound) and has improved significantly since. Over two legs against Fenerbache, he has pulled off some fantastic reaction saves and he was instrumental in keeping his side in a winning position against Fulham.
I’d argue that Szczesny’s shot-stopping ability has never been in question. He moves across the goal extremely quickly, is agile in the air and has cat-like reactions. What’s in question, is the Pole’s ability to command his area and his decision making.
He can be somewhat rash and sometimes rushes out of his goal-mouth when the better decision would be to stand firm. As such, I’d like to see Arsene Wenger scour the market for a mentor figure. Somebody who could hold the fort for the next three-or-four years, until Szczesny is ready to take the mantle.
That’s where Iker Casillas comes in. The Spanish captain and Real Madrid ace is one of the most highly-rated goal-keepers in world football. He’s exactly the kind of player that Arsenal should be chasing at this stage in their evolution.
According to The Mirror, Casillas is seeking assurances about his future at the Bernabeu, having been left on the bench for his club’s first three games. Given that it’s a World Cup year, the Spaniard is doubtless concerned about his place in his national team.
At the moment, Carlo Ancelotti seems to favour Diego Lopez ahead of Casillas. When asked about why this is the case, the Madrid boss responded (rather curtly) that: “He played the first game and the second. He’s playing well, that’s all there is to it.”
This, I’m sure, is an extremely frustrating position for Casillas to be in. I can’t help but wonder if he wouldn’t be tempted to move to the Emirates at this stage in his career. At 32-years-old, he has the experience and the know-how to guide Szczesny to bigger and better things.
It’s not clear how much this would cost, but I think it would be a good move for all parties involved.
What’s your take? Can you picture Iker Casillas between the sticks at the Emirates?
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