Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta has declared that one of Mat Ryan or Alex Runarsson will be filling in for the suspended Bernd Leno this weekend, but his Europa League squad raises huge question marks.
Today’s Arsenal news revealed the squad’s UEFA Europa League squad, which includes both Bernd Leno and Mat Ryan as our senior goalkeepers, but there is no place for the Icelandic shot-stopper. Instead, 20 year-old James Hillson is named as our third goalkeeper in the list, although younger players from the youth setup do not need to be named.
While this seems to confirm that Runarsson is behind Ryan in the pecking order, it also indicates that he is as low as fourth or fifth in behind our Under-23 options.
The manager insists that the former Dijon goalkeeper is in line to start this weekend, ruling out a debut for Arthur Okonkwo who was recently called up to the senior squad. Arteta told Arsenal.com when asked about Ryan’s fitness: “He has not been available to train yet, and Alex is available, so we will have the choice between the two of them for the weekend. If Mat is able to train, and they are both fit, we will have a decision to make. If Mat is not fit, obviously Alex will be in goal.”
Alex will likely be disappointed at having been removed from the squad list for the Europa League, but getting the nod to play this weekend may assure him that he isn’t to be frozen out completely.
Okonkwo could potentially find himself named on the bench this weekend if Ryan isn’t deemed to be available.
Should Runarsson have left the club on loan in the winter window?