A new keeper was one of the four players declared by Thierry Henry to be vital for Arsene Wenger to add to the Arsenal squad this summer, to give the Gunners a real chance of winning the Premier League title. Whether you agree with our former striker and record goal scorer or not, the keeper question is definitely a big one for the boss to deal with.
Wojciech Szczesny has lost his place to last summer’s recruit David Ospina, and the is there anything to suggest he should get it back? The Colombian has done nothing wrong and has inspired a much better defensive record for Arsenal since he took the gloves from his Polish team mate.
According to Henry though, Arsenal need a step up in class from Ospina and having played with Seaman and Lehmann, the Frenchman knows the value of a star between the sticks. There was a suggestion this week that the Tottenham and France number one Hugo Lloris has a £14 million buy out clause and is desperate for Champions League football, and we have all heard about Chelsea’s Petr Cech’s possible availability. I have added the name of Southampton’s Fraser Forster who was behind the best defence in the league until his injury, and I have compared their stats on the Squawka.com website.
Well I had to use Cech’s league stats from last season to be fair and also adjust the scores per 90 minutes but the results here are very interesting.
They suggest that we already have the best of the four in Ospina, who wins in almost all of the important categories including punches per game, clean sheets, and goals conceded, as well as the most saves per goal. His overall total is way better – but he loses out on distribution accuracy. However, the Arsenal man is the only one not to have made a defensive error and his total score of 29 per game blows the others away. Cech is next best on 19, Forster third on 12 and Lloris way down on 6.
Cech and Forster are pretty close and I think if Arsenal were to look for a new Number One it should be one of these two, not Lloris, even though it would really annoy the Spuds.
But do we really need a new keeper when Ospina is doing so well?