Arsenal have agreed a deal for Bernd Leno, according to reports from ESPN.
It is encouraging that Unai Emery has addressed this area as a matter of urgency, because we’ve arguably not had a world-class goalkeeper since David Seaman left.
Jens Lehmann of course did superbly in the Invincibles campaign but in the last decade, we’ve had a succession of no. 1s who are reasonable shot-stoppers, but also prone to an error.
Petr Cech is the closest thing we’ve had to a goalkeeper with genuine pedigree and he has commanded his area well, but is not quite as sharp as he was a decade ago: the fact the Czech Republic international conceded 51 goals and kept seven clean sheets – eleven behind the Golden glove winner David De Gea – is very revealing.
Cech’s decline has not been a problem at the Emirates Stadium, where we have been able to dominate against most teams, but does he have De Gea’s capacity to save his team points in pressured away games? Unfortunately not.
Leno could represent an upgrade. He positions himself well for shots, which could be especially valuable in the Premier League, in which 3,693 shots were taken from outside the box last season.
With 10 clean sheets, the Bayer Leverkusen stopper finished joint-second in the race for the Bundesliga golden glove award, impressive given that he hasn’t been playing for an elite side.
The Stuttgart academy graduate is also adept with the ball at his feet, which could hugely benefit our build-up play from the back. David Ospina is arguably better than Cech in terms of distribution, but his difficulties in commanding his area makes him a no-go for first choice.
Unai Emery has taken the transfer window by storm which has seen him complete deals for Swiss veteran right-back, Stephan Lichtsteiner; this would be another positive addition.