The FIVE Plan B’s should Wenger fail to land Schwarzer

Arsenal yesterday (10th of June) confirmed that the club have made an approach to sign Fulham Goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer, as the Gunners look for a new no.1 for next season’s campaign.

Wenger wants to bring in a new goalkeeper and has pinpointed the Australian international as his number one choice this summer.

Many Arsenal fans have expressed their unhappiness this season with their current goal-stopper’s Manuel Almunia and Lukasz Fabianski. Due to their frustrations, the fans have urged Wenger to go out acquire a more proficient keeper, and it seems the calls have been answered by the Frenchman. However, is Schwarzer the man the Arsenal faithful had in mind?

Schwarzer is a good option for the Gunners to venture into. It’s blatantly obvious to fans not just that of Arsenal, but fans of other Premier League teams, that the Gunners need a more experienced and reliable set of hands to guard the goal at the Emirates. According to the Arsenal boss, Schwarzer can offer both of these.

Without a doubt Many fans would prefer to see the Aussie model the no.1 jersey next season rather than Almunia or his deputy Fabianski. The Aussie boasts more experience, has greater communication, distribution and handling attributes than the current Arsenal keepers. However, Is Schwarzer the answer to Arsenal’s ongoing goalkeeper problem? Or are there better options available to Wenger and co this summer?

A majority of Arsenal fans will want to see Wenger target a more youthful and dynamic goalkeeper this summer…Schwarzer is neither, but he remains on top of Wenger’s wish list in this particular department. Nevertheless, which other shot-stoppers could Le Professeur seek out should the Fulham goalkeeper not be allowed to leave Craven Cottage this summer?

Here are 5 other probable and reasonable alternatives for the Frenchman to consider when the window re-opens. Each one have been given a rating on how good (in my opinion) they would be for Arsenal football club :

Joe Hart (Manchester City)

Arsenal have expressed their interest in the young England international shot-stopper prior to the completion of the domestic season. The club were reported to be lining up a possible bid for Hart when the summer window opens in July.

The 23-year-old Manchester City goalkeeper spent the entire year on-loan with Birmingham City where he produced brilliant performances week in week out. Capello rewarded the keeper for his displays this season by selecting him to fly to South Africa this summer. Hart is a young talented goal-stopper who will become a world-class act in the future given the chance and guided by the right individual.

Hart looks as if he will be starting next season’s campaign off with City, after Shay Given dislocated his shoulder against the Gunners in late April. However, with Given on the mend and regaining full-fitness, Hart will still be second choice for Mancini despite excelling this season. Joe Hart appears to be the Arsenal fans favourite to take the gloves off Almunia; they will no doubt love to see the young keeper between the Emirates sticks next season.

Glove Rating: 5/5

Sebastien Frey (Fiorentina)

The highly rated and reliable Fiorentina goal-stopper has been strongly linked with a number of European clubs, after the Frenchman had declared he seeks a new challenge. Despite recent reports from his agent suggesting that the shot-stopper is happy in Florence, the 30-year-old will no doubt be upset with his team’s failure to qualify for the Champion’s League next season.

Arsenal are reported to be amongst the horde of clubs that wish to acquire the keeper’s signature and have a good chance of obtaining it should they show more interest. Frey has stated that he will make his decision after his summer break which has left the door wide open for clubs, including Arsenal to bid for the player.

Frey is a well established and dependable keeper who has made his name in the Italian game for the past several seasons. Wenger should definitely consider Frey as a possible target should Schwarzer refuse sign for the Gunners this summer.

Glove Rating: 3/5

Continue to page 2 to see the last 3 keepers on the list

Gianluigi Buffon (Juventus)

Gianluigi Buffon is one of, if not, the best goalkeeper in the world…it’s as simple as that. The 6’ 3’’ shot-stopper has been linked with the Gunners this season, yet nothing has transpired. The Juve man had a good season for the Serie A side, but the club failed to qualify for a Champion’s League spot, eventually ending up in 7th place. Many player’s, including Buffon have expressed their unhappiness due to the dismal season which fabricated, and as a result, many European clubs will test the resolve of Juventus this summer.

You would think that the Italian international would be around 40 years old because of so many years on our screen, but Buffon is actually only 32 years of age…a prime age for a keeper.

What else can you say about Gigi, the man bags experience in abundance has superb command of his box, great agility and of course, most importantly, a remarkable set of hands.

It’s undetermined whether Buffon will be at Juve come the start of next season. Although, Buffon has also made it clear that he would jump at the chance to play in the Premier League. So, if Wenger were to show more interest in the Italian in the upcoming months, then Juventus may be forced to sell their no.1 this summer.

Glove Rating: 5/5

Igor Akinfeev (CSKA Moscow)

If Wenger is searching for an under-rated, fairly unknown but reliable and assured goalkeeper, then Igor Akinfeev is his man.

The 24-year-old Russian international is already the captain for his club (CSKA Moscow) and helped his side reach the Champion’s League quarter-finals this season. The Russian enhanced his reputation when he starred in Euro 2008 with some outstanding performances for his country, yet he is still not considered to be amongst the elite.

A move to the Emirates this summer would certainly propel his status and even at a young age, Akinfeev has shown the capabilities of handling big-time pressure.

His international team-mate, Andrey Arshavin, has been with the Gunners for a year and can surely put in a good word to his fellow compatriot. Without a doubt, Akinfeev would be a great asset should Arsenal sign him. The Russian has great positional and handling attributes and also commands the penalty area very well. A definite consideration for the Arsenal boss to ponder this summer.

Glove Rating: 4/5

Hugo Lloris (Lyon)

Lloris is a rising star and is on course to be one of Europe’s most exciting goalkeepers in years to come. The 23-year-old Lyon no.1 is already France’s first-choice goalkeeper for the World Cup this summer after producing splendid performances for both club and country this season.

Having played in the Champions League this season, as well as starring in the two-legged World Cup play-off match against the Republic of Ireland, Lloris is fast becoming a well-known name in the game. As Lloris is French, Wenger will no doubt have an advantage over other manahers and looks to be the clear frontrunner for the shot-stopper’s signature.

The 6’ 2’’ Lyon man possesses superb agility, handling and above all, he has great reflexes. Although still very young, Lloris can become one of the greatest…under the right guidance of course. Another alternative for Wenger to contemplate this summer.

Glove Rating: 4/5

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