When it comes to goalkeepers, Arsenal fans have really been put through the wringer in recent times.
Since ‘Crazy’ Jens Lehmann moved on, Arsenal fans have been subject to the likes of Manuel Almunia, Lukasz Fabianksi and Vito Mannone.
Arsene Wenger seems to take a European approach to his goalkeeper scouting, but he’s turned up nothing but dross thus far. Spanish stopper Manuel Almunia inspired about as much confidence throughout the Arsenal back-four as an inanimate cardboard cut-out of Fabian Barthez.
Then there’s Lukasz Fabianski who has been (not-so) lovingly labeled ‘Flappyhandski’ by Arsenal fans and Vito Mannone, who looks a little average and prone to mistakes.
Lucky for the Gunners then, that Wojciech Szczesny’s rise to prominence has been so meteoric. The Polish youngster has shown real poise over the last couple of seasons and has earned his position as Arsenal’s number one. He’s a real character – somebody who shows no fear throughout games, communicates well with the rest of the defense and isn’t afraid to apportion blame when necessary.
He’s a player that will become a real leader for the Gunners over the next two-or-three seasons. He’s certainly got a big future ahead of him.
Arsenal’s only problem is that Wojciech Szczesny is their only reliable goalkeeper. That’s just not good enough for a team with top-four pretensions. Having to rely on Mannone during a Szczesny injury this season has already cost the Gunners.
So it makes sense that Arsene Wenger should be scouring the transfer market attempting to find somebody they can bring in to bolster this position.
This brings me to the Daily Star’s claim that Arsenal have revived their interest in Birmingham City’s top young keeper, Jack Butland. Isn’t that a move that makes a lot of sense?
For a start, the Blues financial issues mean that Butland will be available for around £6m and this would represent something of a bargain for a player who has been singled out by many as Britain’s best young goal-keeping talent. He’s also the heir apparent to Joe Hart in the England set-up. In other words, he has a big future and would be able to keep Wojciech Szczesny on his feet, watching his back.
Inevitably, over the next 3-4 seasons, one of the two would rise to the top and make the goalkeeping slot their own. Then Arsenal would be able to sell the other for a significant sum of money.
As an investment, it just makes a lot of sense. Arsenal are getting a top quality player at a bargain price. You can’t say fairer than that.
What’s your take? Should Arsenal snap up Jack Butland?
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