What’s the story?
Arsenal are looking to improve their goalkeeping lineup this summer with the purchase of Leicester City goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel. While Arsene Wenger’s future at the club is still up in the air as his contract runs out this season, it is believed that the fact that he is already planning for next seasons confirms that he will extend his contract with the Gunners.
According to the Mirror, second-choice goalkeeper David Ospina is expected to leave in the summer following a string of games where he has conceded a number of goals. Barring the odd match-saving performance, Ospina has not impressed the fans and stood between the sticks in both Round of 16 legs when Arsenal lost 10-2 on aggregate to Bayern Munich in the Champions League.
In case you didn’t know...
Schmeichel has been Leicester City’s number one goalkeeper ever since making the move from Leeds United in 2011. After arriving at the club for an undisclosed fee, Schmeichel stamped his authority at the club and remained the first choice goalkeeper even after they gained promotion from the Championship to the Premier League in 2014.
He is the son of legendary goalkeeper Peter Schmeichel who was most famous for his stint at Manchester United where he won the Premier League five times. When Kasper won the league title with Leicester City, they became the first father-son duo to win the Premier League.
Schmeichel last signed a contract extension with Leicester City in August last year.
The heart of the matter
The north London club have been guilty of being weak at the back this season and have already conceded 34 goals in the league so far. Among the top six teams, only Liverpool have fared worse having conceded 36 goals. It is one of the reasons why they now lie in sixth place (albeit with games in hand).
While Cech has been Arsenal's main goalkeeper in the league, Ospina has been called upon when the Czech international has suffered injuries in the past two seasons. However, while the Colombian is a good shot-stopper, he has been prone to making errors in the box – especially while tackling set pieces or crosses coming into the box.
On the other hand, Schmeichel has been Leicester City’s best player this season despite their failures in the league. While the Foxes sank without a trace in the title race, it was the 30-year-old who put in performances to remember while the rest of the team failed to turn up.
Video: Schmeichel’s top 5 saves in 2015/16
Arsenal’s goalkeeping problems have been laid bare this season. While Cech was on fire in the 2015/16 campaign, easily saving the club around 15 points with some ‘Man of the Match’ performances, his frailties have come to the forefront this season. Cech will be 35 at the end of the season and it does look like the once-evergreen goalkeeper’s career is coming to an end.
Schmeichel would be the perfect upgrade over Ospina and is in fine form this season. The possible lack of Champions League football may not deter Schmeichel whose own Foxes need to win the competition this season if they are to take part next season.
However, Arsenal will have to pay big money as Schmeichel’s current contract runs till 2021. Meanwhile, on-loan goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny’s future will also have to be considered.