Mikel Arteta confirmed that goalkeeping coach Inaki Cana is playing a big role in Arsenal’s goalkeeper acquisitions this month.

Iceland's goalkeeper Runar Alex Runarsson plays the ball during a training seesion at the Stade de France in Saint-Denis, north of Paris, on March 24, 2019 on the eve of their Euro 2020 qualifying football match between France and Iceland. (Photo by FRANCK FIFE / AFP)
Iceland’s goalkeeper Runar Alex Runarsson plays the ball during a training session on March 24, 2019. (Photo by FRANCK FIFE / AFP)

Speaking ahead of Arsenal’s match against West Ham United this weekend, Mikel Arteta admitted that Inaki Cana is playing a part in their pursuit of their summer targets for the position.

Arsenal fans raised suspicions about Cana’s involvement given the players the club are after. They’re closing in on a deal for Rúnar Alex Rúnarsson and could add David Raya as well, two goalkeepers who previously worked with Cana.

Rúnarsson was with Cana at FC Nordsjælland, whilst Raya worked under him at Brentford. Arteta says Arsenal’s targets are ultimately his decision, but the goalkeeper coach plays his part.

“When it comes down to the goalkeeper, he [Cana] has a big say on how we are going to implement our methodology,” Arteta said. “How we are going to train them and how we are going to treat the goalkeeping position in the short, medium and long term.

“Obviously at the end it will be me who makes the decision [who to buy]. But is very important that the people around me, who have on many occasions a much clearer criteria and specificity than me, that I really listen to them and try to follow what their feelings are.

“I have big faith in Inaki as I do with the rest of the staff that are here.”

At a base level, it’s hard to argue with this approach. Arteta, a former midfielder and assistant coach at Manchester City, is unlikely to know better than a goalkeeper coach what makes a top keeper.

The proof will be in the pudding, though. If Cana’s picks impress with strong performances, we’ll know who to thank. If not, he may end up with some of the blame.