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Arsenal Linked With Surprise Move For French International
Some interesting transfer gossip doing the rounds in the newspapers recently with the Daily Star one of several media outlets claiming that Arsene Wenger is lining-up a move for Marseille goalkeeper Steve Mandanda.
We’re going to need to bring in a new stopper this summer with Lukasz Fabianski set to leave when his contract expires in June, so it’s now surprise to see us linked with a goalkeeper. However, what is something of a surprise is that we’re being linked with Mandanda – who’s an established number one at Marseille.
Many are expecting us to be in the market for a number two to play behind Wojciech Szczesny, but the paper suggests that the Pole’s place could be in jeopardy following his performance against Bayern Munich in the Champions League.
Szczesny was perhaps at fault for the sending off but the Star believe that the 23-year-old angered club officials when he made an ‘offensive gesture’ as he headed down the tunnel. Apparently Arsene is now considering buying a goalkeeper who can push him for a first team spot, with Mandanda among his key targets.
I’m not sure I buy this story to be honest. Szczesny has been excellent for much of the season and there hasn’t been many keepers as reliable as him in the Premier League. Wenger has also shown huge faith in Szczesny after installing him as No.1 as a 20-year-old, so I highly doubt Arsene is going to consider dropping him after one costly mistake.
Mandanda is an experienced keeper who’s been Marseille’s No.1 for over seven years and has 16 caps for the French national team, so while he may be keen to join us if we are in fact interested, I think it will only be if he’s going to be first choice, which isn’t something I can see us offering.
We need to be looking for a reliable stopper who’s going to be content playing second-fiddle to Szczesny, and someone who can do a job when required.