Whatever Petr Cech’s form, Arsenal are lacking long-term solutions in goal.
Petr Cech remains a good goalkeeper but, at 35, it’s becoming clearer that the only way for him is down. He’s a step below the likes of David De Gea and Hugo Lloris, and Arsenal have to think about signing an improvement if they want to get back to the top level.
Finding a player that improves on Cech yet could also serve the club for many years is a tough ask. Arsenal had such a player in their ranks before the summer, but decided that Wojciech Szczesny wasn’t worth keeping around and sold him to Juventus, a club in a similar predicament with Gianluigi Buffon.
Nonetheless, I’ve had a go at finding five goalkeepers who could replace Petr Cech and be the number one at the club for many years to come to put an end to Arsenal’s goalkeeping debacle.
1. Jan Oblak (Atletico Madrid)
The obvious choice as far as high quality keepers go. Oblak is already at a great, successful club, but doesn’t feel like as impossible a signing as other top keepers. He’s by far the most expensive option on this list, but one who would ultimately be worth it. Oblak has considerable presence between the sticks, yet possesses incredible agility that helps him pull off stunning saves. At 24, he has plenty of years at his best left in him. If Arsenal are looking for a quick, permanent solution to the problem, they need look no further than Oblak.
2. Jack Butland (Stoke City)
Of the same age as Oblak, yet not quite as accomplished, is Stoke’s Jack Butland. The Englishman would be a riskier purchase as he’s untried at the highest level, but he has the ability to pull out vital saves and is also a commanding presence in the penalty area. Arsenal have certainly come up against him in fine form numerous times. The English player tax ensures he’d be an expensive buy, but there’s long-term value in him.
3. Anthony Lopes (Lyon)
The Portuguese has been in excellent form for Lyon since joining in 2014. With Lyon often playing an expansive game, Lopes is required to come off his line quickly and sweep. He has an active style of keeping, and while he’s not without the occasional error, he would suit Arsenal’s style of play. At 27, he’s approaching his prime, and might be a cheaper option than many other keepers out there.
4. Gianluigi Donnarumma (AC Milan)
The next “Gigi” of Italian football. Donnarumma made his Milan breakthrough at just 16 years of age. A year later, he was being called the successor to Gianluigi Buffon in the Italy goal. There have been a few downs for Donnarumma since, but the 19-year-old remains a top talent. He already possesses considerable size and presence, and his long reach helps him make the most unlikely of saves. With Milan not the power they used to be, there’s an opportunity for a club to lure him away.
5. Timo Horn (Cologne)
Another 24-year-old and untested option, but a player who has shown plenty of promise in the Bundesliga. Horn is less spectacular than the other options on this list, but is a very solid and reliable goalkeeper with few glaring faults in his game. As an added bonus, he has excellent distribution, something we haven’t seen from an Arsenal keeper in a long time.