Arsenal are set for a major overhaul this summer when Arsene Wenger steps aside after 22 largely successful years at the Emirates Stadium and his successor has a stern job ahead of him to make the Gunners competitive again.
While the tabloids may make it sound like Arsenal’s squad is littered with holes, the reality is just a few big signings are needed this summer as the attack is bolstered, the defence includes many highly-rated talents and central midfield areas are also starting to improve.
The big issue though, as it always seems to be, is between the posts as Arsenal’s current options are simply not good enough – with neither Petr Cech or David Ospina doing enough to inspire the fans during their years at the club and not giving punters confidence in using their LeoVegas bonus code on an Emirates clean sheet.
On paper at least, the signing of Cech looked to be a significant coup for Arsenal but there is a reason why Chelsea sold when they did, which we’ve now learned, and it means that, in truth, our side hasn’t had a stand-out goalkeeper since the days of Jens Lehmann.
Even he struggled in his later years after the move to the Emirates Stadium which means that, in the past 12 years since leaving Highbury, Arsenal haven’t actually had a goalkeeper that’s considered to be top-class, which is rather staggering.
Manuel Almunia was a complete farce and, while he’s now impressing at Juventus, Wojciech Szczesny was hardly the stable figure that we needed, although a decision to cast him aside now seems to have been extremely premature.
Signing a new top-class goalkeeper needs to be Arsenal’s number one priority this summer and it would go a long way to solving a number of the club’s issues, though there is of course some work to be done in other areas of the field.
I’d argue though that the likes of Mesut Ozil, Granit Xhaka, Danny Welbeck, Alex Iwobi, Hector Bellerin and any other Arsenal player who has been criticised this season would benefit from an improvement in their coaching though, whereas there’s not really any hope for our goalkeeping options.
If, like the press suggest, Arsenal are to spend upwards of £30m on a player once again, that incoming deal needs to be a goalkeeper – otherwise we’re not solving our problems. We can have a good squad but, without a good stopper, we’re always likely to be torn apart.
The defence, of course, needs to take some blame but I’d point back to the coaching yet again. Mistakes can be erased, inconsistent goalkeeping can’t – and when was the last time Cech or Ospina saved us in a match?