We are halfway through the January transfer window, and other than the Mesut Ozil saga, Arsenal fans have not had that much to cheer about so far, although it looks like the Gunners have been drastically reducing their wage bill.
One problem area that Arteta considers urgent (other than the obvious attacking midfielder) is the desperate need for a more capable back up to Bernd Leno in goal, as it seems the emergency acquisition of Runar Runarsson is simply not working out. Arteta made it clear this was being addressed when he he said last week: “We are assessing the situation with the three positions on the goalkeeping area and we will find a different solution, probably in this window.”
Since then, Arteta’s main target appeared to be the Brazilian stopper Neto, but Barca have announced that he can’t leave until the summer, so the Gunners are now being linked with an apparently highly-talented English keeper Freddie Woodman, who has over 50 caps for England from the U16 level up to the U21s, so is obviously very highly regarded in the UK. He even won the Golden Glove when England U20’s won the 2017 FIFA U-20 World Cup, saving a penalty in the final against Venezuela which England won 1–0.
Woodman is only 23 now, and is currently playing regularly on loan as Number One at Swansea City in the Championship. He is contracted to Newcastle, although his deal only lasts until this coming summer, so we could get him very cheaply as well.
Freddie is a Londoner (well, Croydon) and started his career at Crystal Palace, where his father Andy was goalkeeping coach at the time, before moving to Newcastle when he turned 17. He is 6ft 2in tall, and I think that he could be a very promising investment for Arsenal at the right price.
Interestingly Woodman’s godfather is Gareth Southgate…