Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger admits goalkeeper gamble

Jens Lehmann

Arsene Wenger will admit that when he signed Jens Lehmann, it could have gone either way.

Back in 2003 Arsenal needed to replace their long-serving goalkeeper David Seaman. The veteran England international had left The Gunners to join Manchester City that summer, bringing to an end his 13 year association with the North London club.

Arsene Wenger soon identified the man he wanted for the role, Jens Lehmann.

The German international goalkeeper had been in great form for Borussia Dortmund for the past four years, after his previous big move to AC Milan had failed.

But despite being a big fan of Lehmann, Wenger knew that there was a risk he could be a similar flop at Arsenal as he was with Milan.

In an extract from the upcoming Amy Lawrence book 'Invincible' he admits that Lehmann was a gamble:

"I watched him in Dortmund. I liked his attitude, his intelligence, his personality. Then it was quite simple because this was a deal that was made between him and me directly on the phone. Without any agent, without meeting him directly. We had some interesting conversations. [He begins to laugh] You know Jens! Every detail becomes important. So I thought this guy will either be a complete flop or a complete success because he is special in the way he is intense, argumentative, and speaks his opinion. I was really interested. After two conversations I thought, this is the right guy for this team because he is at the same level of motivation and personality as the rest of the team."

All Arsenal fans will admit that at times Lehmann could be, for want of a better word, erratic.

His interesting personality made him a favourite for the club's fans, and when he was in form he could be unbeatable in the Arsenal goalmouth.

So while Wenger may have been afraid of what was to come from Lehmann, he certainly was not a flop at Arsenal.

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