Even with Petr Cech retiring, Arsenal still have several decisions to make this summer to solidify the goalkeeper position. Bernd Leno is the clear number one, and it’s highly doubtful any move would change that before the start of the new season. But who will be his backup - the keeper getting starts in the Europa League and domestic Cup competitions - at least in the early stages?
Time to move on
Internally, Arsenal still have three additional keepers to consider - David Ospina, Emiliano Martinez, and Matt Macey. The first two haven’t impressed during their years on Arsenal’s books, while Macey is closing in on an age where he needs to display what his ceiling might be. Cleanup is necessary.
Based on reports this week, it sounds like Napoli will activate a clause in Ospina’s loan deal to make the move permanent. While he was unlikely to start again at Arsenal, letting him walk for the reported £3 million still feels like a bad transaction for the club. This move could be announced as soon as Colombia are done with the Copa America tournament in Brazil.
Meanwhile, it’s a waiting game for Martinez and Macey to see who gets loaned, and also to see if one gets sold, based on any incoming movement.
Chasing Markus Schubert
A week ago The Independent reported that Arsenal have been looking at the young German keeper. He has been in the SG Dynamo Dresden system since 2011, playing in their academy teams until making the break into the senior side and 2.Bundesliga this past season. 21 years old and 6’1”, Schubert has appeared with every age group on the German national team from U16 up through U21.
His contract with Dresden expires at the end of this month, leaving him set to choose his future destination. The list of clubs interested is likely long. The Independent claim that the keeper was a target of Sven Mislintat before leaving Arsenal.
You’ll find reports indicating that other, non-Arsenal teams are closer to signing him (i.e. Schalke), but nothing is confirmed as of yet, nor are any of the current sources rated any higher than The Independent is at the moment. So it’s down to who can make the best case to Schubert.
Should Arsenal make the move?
The short answer: Yes.
The long answer - Schubert is younger than Macey, is already rated higher, and likely provides more value to the club in the future as a starter or a sale for profit. Markus may want first team starts guaranteed as part of his next move, so it may depend on whether Arsenal are willing to offer him a deal that suits exactly what that vision looks like.
If he is content with starting Cup matches and Europa League group stage games for Arsenal, then he would slot in as Leno’s new backup, Martinez would probably be sold, and thus Macey is loaned. If Schubert wants to be the starter in league matches, Arsenal could offer a new deal and loan back to a German club willing to make him their number one. Meanwhile, Martinez serves as the backup while Macey is on loan.
Schubert seems like a logical target, one that Arsenal could utilize him either now or in a year’s time. Plus he would be a free transfer. The nice thing is that Arsenal aren’t in desperate need of a keeper; Schubert would be an interesting piece, but even if Arsenal do nothing, the GK position is reasonably solid.