Arsenal FC

Mikel Arteta confirms desire to sign new goalkeeper

Jan 12, 2021, 9:15 AM GMT
Mikel Arteta
Arsenal will be on the hunt for a new goalkeeper | Pool/Getty Images
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Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has admitted the club plan to reignite their pursuit of a backup goalkeeper this month, with Icelandic international Alex Runarsson set to leave on loan.

It emerged on Monday that Runarsson, who was signed in the summer following the departure of Emiliano Martinez to Aston Villa, was being lined up for a temporary move away from the Emirates Stadium in order to gain more experience at the highest level.

Despite Runarsson operating as the backup to Bernd Leno this season, the belief is that Arsenal have always viewed the 25-year-old as more of a third-choice goalkeeper, and Arteta confirmed that the plan is to find a new shot stopper in the January window.

"We are assessing the situation with the three positions on the goalkeeping area and we will find a different solution, probably in this window," he said.

When asked whether Runarsson was close to sealing a move away, the boss simply responded: "There is nothing there yet. We are assessing what is going to happen with the three positions.

Runar Alex Runarsson
Runarsson is yet to impress in England | James Williamson - AMA/Getty Images

"The discussion we had in the summer within the club are a little bit different to what actually happened because of the transfer window and the situation that developed with Emi. 

"We didn't have much time to do what we really wanted to do and we decided to assess the situation in this window which is what we are trying to do and we will make a decision on how we want to move forward in those three positions."

In terms of potential targets, The Telegraph suggest Brentford's David Raya, who was at the top of the wish list during the summer, remains a key target for Arteta, although a deal is unlikely to be struck in January.

David Raya Martin
Raya is high on the wish list | Alex Pantling/Getty Images

The Gunners are therefore expected to look for a short-term option, perhaps an older goalkeeper who could be available on loan, and the trigger on Runarsson's exit will likely not be pulled until this new shot stopper is found.

Former third-choice option Matt Macey left the club to join Hibernian last week, leaving Arsenal with no other senior goalkeepers outside of Leno and Runarsson.

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