This post contains affiliate links. “As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.”
Given that the focus is primarily on which offensive midfielder Arsenal should go after to solve their creativity issues, it’s easy to forget that there’s a problem at the other end that needs to be solved as well.
The Gunners are in the market for a new backup goalkeeper during the January transfer window with Alex Runarsson set for a loan out of the club to gain more first-team experience.
While the number one spot is pretty safe in the hands of Bernd Leno, the lack of genuine competition could easily come back to hurt Arsenal after they sold Emiliano Martinez last summer.
It’s a tough position to nail, honestly. Hiring someone with the intention of being a second violin immediately limits the range of who is available, and rotary porters have never had any good luck. That said, competition is important and the right man for the job will keep Leno on his toes, but will also accept that his role will predominantly come in a limited capacity.
Here’s who Arsenal could move for before the transfer window closes.
Starting with the most unlikely.
Sergio Romero would be a great blow to Arsenal, while Manchester United come to Looking to get rid of the Argentine who is now in excess of requirements and without a contract this summer.
He was arguably the best substitute in the league when he was a substitute for David de Gea. But that’s where the problem lies: Their stocks are too high for United to sell to direct rivals in the league, so there’s little chance the Gunners can make a move.
Ugurcan Cakir could be a canny addition to the Arsenal squad in the long run.
The 24-year-old currently practices his trade with Trabzonspor and his performances helped him to the European qualification in the 2019/20 season. He has been linked to a transfer by several of the best European teams, including Liverpool.
However, he sits in a similar category to Runarsson, as they are a similar age and lack experience at the top level.
Having sold Martinez to Aston Villa, veteran closer Tom Heaton has suddenly found himself playing second fiddle in the Midlands.
At 34, playing second fiddle at Arsenal would be hard to turn down. Heaton is proven in the Premier League and still capable of putting on a good performance; He would also be a useful player to have around the younger goalies.
However, Villa will be aware of his abilities and how lucky they are to have him as a backup. That might it will be difficult to push it away.
Crystal Palace’s shooting stopper continues to impress and is out of contract this summer.
Palace also signed Jack Butland before the current season, who could step up if they allow Guaita to leave earlier than planned. While he is not expected to become a rebel without a contract, the potential to move to Arsenal could tempt him at the age of 34.
Reaching him while he still has life left could prop up Arsenal for a season or two at least.
Barcelona’s second fiddler has actually played more games than he perhaps expected this season, which has put him in the spotlight somewhat.
Marc-Andre ter Stegen was injured for a time, meaning the 31-year-old Neto has accumulated nine appearances so far this season. Arsenal have already been linked with a move and while it may not be the cheapest option, they are in their prime and would increase their ranks massively.
The Spaniard is the latest in a string of talented players to develop their game significantly at Brentford. And after Ollie Watkins and Said Benrahma got their moves in the Premier League last summer, Raya might not be left behind.
The 25-year-old is shaping up to be Arsenal’s top target and has kept seven clean sheets in the Championship so far this season, although there are doubts about his availability in January. If they can afford it, Arsenal must act now.
Raya’s stock is likely to rise, and if Brentford succeeds in promotion, a move could be more difficult to facilitate in the summer.