Lehmann makes Gunners return

Arsene Wenger has confirmed that former goalkeeper Jens Lehmann will come out of retirement to sign with Arsenal for the rest of the season.

The 41-year-old German joins as a free agent after retiring in 2010 following two seasons with Bundesliga club Stuttgart.

Lehmann made 199 appearances for Arsenal between 2003 and 2008, winning the Premier League title in 2004 and the FA Cup in 2005.

The move comes after injuries sidelined regular goalkeepers Wojciech Szczesny, Lukasz Fabianski, meaning Lehmann will be used as back-up for first-choice Manuel Almunia.

Italian youngster Vito Mannone is out on loan at Hull City and also injured.

“He will sign for us for the rest of the season because we have Wojciech out for six weeks, we have Manuel out for six weeks and we have Fabianski out for the rest of the season,” Wenger said.

“So, we have no cover of any experience at all in the Premier League and that is why I decided to get Jens back to cover up Almunia and, of course, to give us some experience.”

During his previous spell at the club, relations between Lehmann and Spaniard Manuel Almunia were reported to be tense.

And Wenger revealed that Almunia was not consulted before the decision was made to bring Lehmann back.

“No. You make your decision,” he said.

“Much more has been said that what basically happened, like many times.”

“There is a lot of respect between the two goalkeepers and I personally think that Jens Lehmann will get the best out of Almunia because he will be showing every day that he is ready to fight for his place as he has always been doing and Almunia will be motivated by that.”

Wenger confirmed that the former Germany international will be on the bench for the Premier League game at West Bromwich Albion on Saturday.

 


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