It’s been a difficult season for Arsene Wenger’s men, none more so than Petr Cech. The well respected and highly decorated goalkeeper has come under intense scrutiny this year after a string of costly mistakes. David Ospina has been a good understudy but has never really challenged for the number one spot.
Is it time for Petr to step aside and move into the number two position? If so, who should replace him?
Matched betting company Profit Accumulator have given us the run-down on the potential players who could replace Petr (if the new manager decides to replace him that is!). Matched betting is a way of making money online.
Wojech Szczesny. Never had an easy ride at the Emirates and was often ridiculed for simple mistakes, but the feeling among the fans is that he would be a good replacement (and improvement) on Petr Cech. He currently plays for Juventus, and has played well in the games he has featured. Buffon is obviously still number one but looks to be retiring this summer. If he doesn't retire, it could be a relatively easy swoop to take Szczesny back, who is too good a keeper to be playing second fiddle for another year.
Many fans feel we should never be having this discussion in the first place. Szczesny, despite his critics, was always seen as a natural successor to Cech. Unfortunately the Arsenal board in their infinite wisdom decided to sell him to one of our European rivals.
Alisson. Brazil’s number one keeper will feature heavily this summer in Russia. He’s had a great season at Roma and proven himself to be one of the top keepers in the world. He would undoubtedly improve the squad with his quality. A good shot stopper with good feet. He would walk into most of the top teams in Europe. The big question is, would Arsenal even be able to attract him. There are strong rumours that Real Madrid are in the market for a new keeper this summer and that Alisson is their first choice. Surely if it was a choice between Real Madrid and Arsenal, he would choose Madrid. If the new Arsenal manager does have a good sized transfer budget, then it might be worth a bid to try and entice him to London.
If Arsenal do decide to make a bid and that bid is successful, I think every Arsenal fan in the country would be overjoyed. If he is managing to keep Ederson out of the brazil squad then he must be quite good!
Jan Oblak. Considered to be in the top three keepers in the world, with De Gea and Neuer. Very talented shot-stopper. Anyone who has watched Atletico knows how good this guy is. Consistently linked with the top clubs and surely it's only a matter of time before he moves on. The biggest issues will probably be the transfer fee. Last season Ederson became the most expensive keeper in the world, at £35m. Oblak would definitely be more than that.
Jack Butland. Another talented goalkeeper that has actually been linked with Arsenal in the past. Would be available as his Stoke side were relegated this season. He’s English as well, which would endear him to the Arsenal faithful. Not since David Seaman have Arsenal had an English number 1. Not had the best of seasons, but to be fair he has been standing behind a particularly poor defensive unit. Stoke would want to get the most money possible for one of their prized assets, but the leverage would surely be with the buying team due to Stopke playing in a lower league now and Butland almost certainly not wanting to play Championship football next season.
Bernd Leno. For those in the know, the Bayer Leverkusen keep is the prime target for replace Cech. Just off the back of a very impressive season in which Leverkusen surprised many people in Germany. Leno is a key part of the team and a very good keeper. Leno is expected to leave Leverkusen to tackle a new challenge ahead of next season. Apparently he has a release clause of around £20m, which for a keeper of his quality isn't that expensive. Leno has made a total of 292 appearances for Leverkusen
What the odds say.
Unlike the race to be the next Arsenal manager, no bookmaker has opened a market on the new Arsenal goalkeeper yet. Our money is on Petr Cech staying for one last year, his experience could be invaluable in a potentially turbulent time for the club.