Unai Emery has confirmed that Arsenal plan to cut the number of first-team goalkeepers down to three, meaning two of the current squad will have to leave.
As things stand, Arsenal have four goalkeepers taking part in pre-season preparations. Last season’s number one Petr Cech, new signing Bernd Leno, returning loanee Emiliano Martinez, and academy keeper Matt Macey.
However, there’s also David Ospina to come back later. The Colombian is currently on holiday after his World Cup run to the last-16.
When asked about the decision over who would be number one this season, Emery responded: “I want to work with Petr Cech, with Bernd Leno, with Emiliano Martinez, with Matt Macey, with Ospina.
“It’s clear that we have [a lot] of goalkeepers but we want to work in the future with three goalkeepers in the first team. Now, I want to look, I want to work every day with all the goalkeepers and then I am going to decide for [who is No 1].”
As mentioned, cutting down to three means two have to leave. Most likely David Ospina will be one of the two, as he was already unhappy with the goalkeeping situation when it was just him, Cech and Macey. The 29-year-old’s agent recently confirmed he’s looking at options elsewhere.
After that, my guess would be that either Macey goes on loan, or Martinez leaves permanently. It seems very unlikely that Martinez will accept going on another loan at age 25, particularly when his last one went so uneventfully. Macey only recently signed an extension, so a permanent move seems just as improbable.
That leaves Leno as the likely starting keeper, Cech as back up, and Martinez or Macey as third choice. We’ll have to wait for Emery’s assessment of the five players to know for sure though.