According to reports, Arsenal are hopeful of signing Spain goalkeeper Iker Casillas from Real Madrid. The 33-year-old shot-stopper has been the subject of speculation in the last 18 months, despite the fact he still has three years left to run on his contract with the European champions.
Casillas was the Spain No.1 from the age of 21 back in 2002 and has over 150 caps to his name for his country with whom he won the World Cup in 2010 and the European Championships in 2008 and 2012. However, in the last two years, his position as the undisputed first choice for both club and country has come under scrutiny.
Meanwhile, Arsenal’s second-choice goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski has left the Emirates to sign on a free transfer with Swansea City. The Polish international has been behind his compatriot Wojciech Szczesny in the pecking order for the last three years and has moved to gain regular access to first-team football.
There is no doubt that the Gunners will need to sign a replacement for Fabianski, but surely any move for Casillas would see either the Spaniard or the current Arsenal No.1 benched in favour of the other. Having brought Szczesny to a reliable and consistent level, evidenced by a strong season this term, manager Arsene Wenger would not jeopardize the 24-year-old’s progress and access to games by bringing in one of the world’s best goalkeepers.
Likewise, I cannot see why Casillas would agree to join Arsenal unless he was guaranteed to be the undisputed No.1 – after all, that is the reason he is even linked with a move away from the Spanish capital where he has spent his entire career.
There is certainly the need for Szczesny to have some competition to keep his performance level consistent, but I would suspect that Wenger will look to bring in a player of equal quality to Fabianski who understands, as the Pole had until now, that he is the backup shot-stopper. Casillas is the captain of Spain and is not anywhere near the age of retirement. I do not see how this move would benefit Arsenal or Casillas.