Has Arsene Wenger given away his goalkeeper plans for next season?


After being linked with an abundance of keepers this summer - will Wenger simply stick with current Arsenal stopper Wojciech Szczesny?

Simon Mignolet, Victor Valdes, Julio Cesar, Rui Patricio, Pepe Reina, Asmir Begovic, Rene Adler, Tim Krul … and I imagine a few others - all goalkeepers, all linked with signing for Arsenal this summer.

At the end of last season Arsene Wenger dropped the clubs number one custodian Wojciech Szczesny - after what was a rather poor string of performances.

His compatriot Lukas Fabianski, recently returned from severe and persistent ankle trouble, stepped in with a degree of aplomb.

Then the injury prone stopper crashed into a goalpost and fractured his rib - once again he was injured.

This rather poor dynamic fuelled rumours of a goalkeeping addition in the summer - but so far the club has not moved on such a deal.

Meanwhile the likes of Mignolet, Reina, Valdes and Patricio have all bequeathed themselves elsewhere for the upcoming season - Wenger’s choices diminish daily.

The last bastion of hope in the hunt for a keeper is Brazilian number one Cesar. He will not want to play Championship football for QPR in a World Cup year.

But if Arsenal wanted him surely they would have him by now.

So what is going on?

It appears, judging by comments this weekend; Wenger simply won’t be buying a goalkeeper this summer.

Here is what Wenger said about the team this season - in particular reference to his young players:

"We are still working on improving our squad but we have a base of young players who get a chance here and who started in the Premier League, such as Szczesny, Jenkinson, Oxlade-Chamberlain [etc]…- that is unique, nobody else has done that. These players can have a special bond and they are on the way upwards, they are not over the hill. They will be better next year and that is why I am confident we will be stronger next season."

Judging by those comments it appears that Szczesny is to get another chance at being the clubs number one - and that seems fair.

The Pole’s main problem has always been his uber-confidence. While it can be a huge benefit for a young keeper making his way in the cutthroat world of the Premier League, when it borders on arrogance complacency sets in - complacency as a keeper invariably leads to poor performances.

Last season would have been just the tonic - the wake-up call Szczesny desired to continue his Arsenal dream.

The stopper is popular with the fans, players and the gaffer, and this season looks like being given another chance of earning his mits.

And that might be the best decision Arsenal make this summer.

images:  © wonker

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