When Arsenal snapped up Palermo goalkeeper Emiliano Viviano on a season-long loan deal on Transfer Deadline day - I was surprised.
It was well known that The Gunners were after a third goalkeeper, just in case the Wojciech Szczesny experiment didn’t work and with Lukasz Fabianski second only to Chris Kirkland in the injury prone goalkeeper department it was no wonder they needed to bring a player in.
But at least he would be second choice at a top Premier League club. But here’s the thing … he isn’t, he remains the third choice goalkeeper for The Gunners.
At the moment Viviano is spending more time twiddling his gloved thumbs than actually tending goal - as the Polish duo remain Wenger’s top two.
For a player with six caps to his name for the Azzurri he now finds himself in the unenviable position of watching his place behind Gianluigi Buffon in the Italian goal slip away - with PSG stopper Salvatore Sirigu, Lazio’s Federico Marchetti and Cagliari’s Michael Agazzi all ahead of him in the pecking order.
If anything, his chances of going to the World Cup would have been bettered if he had just stayed at Palermo. They are top of Serie B at the moment and have conceded just 10 goals - figures that would have had Cesare Prandelli thinking.
But Viviano has not given up on playing for Italy again one day - even if the World Cup may be out of reach:
“It is the ambition of everyone to play for your nation. Even if I’m not presently part of the set-up, I have time on my side. I’m 27 and, should I deserve it, I will have other opportunities to wear that shirt. I was close to Roma in the summer, but then the Giallorossi signed Morgan De Sanctis. Joining Arsenal was a well-pondered decision. I was given this great opportunity and I took it. I’ll just wait for my chance in the team.”
Although there is one way in which he could potentially go to the World Cup - but it would involve leaving Arsenal early.
Multiple teams in Italy would happily take him on board and it would make sense if his international desire stretches to the ambition of Brazil next summer.
image: © ell-r-brown