All the talk has been about how little Arsenal create meaning the club are likely to bring in a creative midfielder in January but if we don’t get another keeper we could be heading for even worse trouble.

Arsenal's German goalkeeper Bernd Leno gestures during the English Premier League football match between Arsenal and Newcastle United at the Emirates Stadium in London on February 16, 2020.
Arsenal’s German goalkeeper Bernd Leno gestures during the English Premier League football match between Arsenal and Newcastle United at the Emirates Stadium in London on February 16, 2020. (Photo by IAN KINGTON/AFP via Getty Images)

Bernd Leno has been underperforming all season which hasn’t been helped in the optics department by Emi Martinez overperforming at Villa.

Generally, Leno is a very good keeper and, if you care to stretch your memory as far back as before the Brighton game when he got injured just X months ago, there were many of us talking about how we would be in a relegation fight had it not been for him.

I don’t want a new keeper to replace him, although I’m always open to an upgrade. No, we need a number two keeper because we currently don’t have one.

Runar Runarsson was purchased late in the summer transfer window to replace Matt Macey, not Emi Martinez. Macey was out of contract and looking to move on, but Arsenal handed him another deal for a year, mostly because they had no choice.

Arsenal's Icelandic goalkeeper Runar Alex Runarsson during the English League Cup quarter final football match between Arsenal and Manchester City at the Emirates Stadium, in London on December 22, 2020. (Photo by Adrian DENNIS / AFP)
Arsenal’s Icelandic goalkeeper Runar Alex Runarsson during the English League Cup quarter final football match between Arsenal and Manchester City at the Emirates Stadium, in London on December 22, 2020. (Photo by Adrian DENNIS / AFP)

They tried to sign Brentford’s David Raya, but he signed a new deal with The Bees, although he reportedly has a clause in his contract that allows him to leave next summer.

Not only does a lack of a number two mean there is no backup for Leno so should he get injured properly we are in real sh*t, but it also means we have nobody at the club keeping him on his toes, biting at his heels and keeping him in form.

LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 16: Theo Walcott of Southampton scores their team's first goal past Bernd Leno of Arsenal during the Premier League match between Arsenal and Southampton at Emirates Stadium on December 16, 2020 in London, England. The match will be played without fans, behind closed doors as a Covid-19 precaution. (Photo by Peter Cziborra - Pool/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND – DECEMBER 16: Theo Walcott of Southampton scores their team’s first goal past Bernd Leno of Arsenal during the Premier League match between Arsenal and Southampton at Emirates Stadium on December 16, 2020 in London, England. The match will be played without fans, behind closed doors as a Covid-19 precaution. (Photo by Peter Cziborra – Pool/Getty Images)

The sight of his elbow in a bandage against Southampton was not a good one although thankfully the support was gone by the time we were plating Everton.

If you think Arsenal are in trouble now, just imaging having to see out the season with Runarsson in goal.

I wrote this post before the game against Manchester City when the Icelandic keeper showed us all that he really, really, really isn’t up to this level. He was never meant to be.

It’s not his fault he’s being picked.

“We win and lose together and Alex has played other games,” Arteta said when asked if it would be difficult for Runarsson to come back from his mistakes. “We decided to play him tonight for many reasons and that responsibility is for all of us.

“There’s no point having any regrets [over Emi Martinez]. There’s different reasons why we had to do that transaction. We did it and it’s a part of the past. He had a really good few months last season and he really helped us and obviously when our goalkeeper makes an error, these things are going to come up.”

Runarsson wasn’t expected to see any game time for Arsenal. In fact, one of the reasons Martinez said he was leaving was because it was made clear to him that not only was Leno number one but that Arteta wouldn’t be rotating his keepers in the cup.

To date, Runarsson has played five times for Arsenal, keeping two cleansheets and conceding seven goals

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Writer. Feminist. Dreamer. Gooner. Owner of DailyCannon.com, writing about Arsenal since 2008. Sometimes found in the Guardian, Vice.com & elsewhere talking queer issues, politics & football. If in doubt, assume sarcasm.