Arsenal open talks to sign 22-year-old in surprise January swoop

By on December 23, 2016

According to the Evening Standard, Arsenal have made contact with Sunderland to discuss a deal to sign goalkeeper Jordan Pickford next month.

The newspaper says that doubts are growing over Petr Cech’s ability to remain Arsenal’s No.1 after the Czech star made it 8 league without a clean sheet following last weeks 2-1 defeat at Manchester City.

That’s the longest Cech has ever gone in his career without keeping a clean sheet and he came under fresh criticism after being beaten at his near post by Raheem Sterling for City’s winner – and it’s not the first time he’s let in a soft goal at his near post.

At 34, it looks as though Cech’s best days are certainly behind him and it appears Arsenal are on the hunt for a potential replacement with the Evening Standard claiming that we’ve now opened talks with Sunderland over Pickford.

The paper states that we’re willing to buy the 22-year-old in January and loan him back to the Black Cats for the rest of the season – which could be tempting for them as David Moyes has been told he has no money to spend next month so this deal would provide him with funds while also keeping hold of his No.1 until the summer.

Pickford has impressed since forcing his way in to the Sunderland first team and the senior England squad this season and he recently signed a new contract until 2020 so any deal is unlikely to come cheap – especially with the likes of Tottenham and Man City also linked.

The goalkeeping situation at Arsenal is certainly intriguing and it looks like this summer is going to be crucial in determining the future’s of many of our current keepers.

Wojceich Szczesny is expected to secure a permanent move away from the club having spent the last two seasons on loan while David Ospina will also consider his future after only featuring in the Champions League group stages so far this campaign.

Emiliano Martinez signed a new long-term deal last month so it looks like he’ll be staying at the Emirates while any move to bring in a new keeper such as Pickford would surely cast doubt over the future of Cech.

petr cech arsenal

I’ve personally been a little underwhelmed by Cech’s performances since he arrived from Chelsea so I would support bringing in a new No.1 at the end of the season, but it would be a big risk going for Pickford as he has so little experience at the highest level.

The plan might be for Ospina to leave, Cech to be given another year as No.1 with Pickford replacing Ospina as his No.2. That would probably make a lot more sense as it would give Pickford some time to learn from Cech before taking over for the 2018/19 campaign.


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  2. paul35mm

    December 23, 2016 at 8:04 pm

    Signing players off one good season is always risky. Pickford’s been a revelation this season for Sunderland, but he is playing for a side buried in a relegation battle. The pressures on players at teams like Sunderland, West Ham, Swansea, and Hull are entirely different than the pressures on players at clubs like Arsenal, Chelsea, Man City, and Man U where top four is a minimum requirement.

    As a counterpoint to the hype on Pickford, who kept 2 clean sheets and let in 15 goals in the last 10 games, Petr Cech lost two in a row for the first time this year and is immediately being criticized as being past it.

    Both goals he surrendered versus Manchester city were off side goals, yet he is being blamed for letting in a soft goal to Rahemm Sterling when David Silva, in an off side position, ran right in front of him and stabbed his foot toward the ball to distract him. No goal keeper would have kept that shot out, but you have journalists and pundits citing that goal as proof Cech is no longer a top keeper. Sure those crtitics are idiots, but when you play for a top club, the idiots surround you and constantly pick at performances.

    Right now Pickford is being lauded as a bright spot in an otherwise dismal season for the Black Cats. If he comes to Arsenal, he’ll be competing for a place with Ospina, Cech, Martinez and Szczesny. If he wins a place he will be expected to outperform those players on a dialy basis.

    From a status perspective it is hard to turn down a move like this, but from a development standpoint, another year or two of consistent minutes might be better. At Arsenal (or any other top 4 side), two bad games and he’ll be on the bench. Liverpool have changed their goal keeper more frequently than most of their supporters change their underwear. Perfection is the standard at that level even though such a standard is impossible to meet.

    It is too soon for Pickford. He would be wise to look at the careers of Szczesny, Mignolet, Tim Howard, etc. before accepting such a move. The money might be impossible to turn down, but it is a lot easier to prove yourself playing every weekend than it is on the training ground along side a legion of top goalkeeping talent.

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