Arsenal are tracking Championship goalkeeper Seny Dieng.
Cotton wool sales will have sky-rocketed across north London after Arsenal slumped to a 4-1 Carabao Cup quarter-final defeat to Manchester City back in December.
Having dabbled in the Europa League without being properly tested, the confidence that Runar Alex Runarsson showed on the ball was cause for optimism. His passes out from the back weren’t without risk, mind you.
Still, when he was finally tasked with dealing with the ball being kicked at him with half-decent pace, he cut a shaky figure. While there are many important facets to being a good goalkeeper, keeping the ball out of the net is relatively vital.
When the Citizens came to north London and the Icelandic stopper got the nod, it was a significant show of faith in Runarsson, one he unfortunately failed to live up to. Indecision for the opener was followed by a howler and a few other nervy moments, with Bernd Leno made to look even better than he already is.
Costing a measly £1.5m, the decision to sign Runarsson hasn’t provided the most encouraging signs as of yet. He does look way out of his depth. Time will tell whether he can evolve into a top-flight goalkeeper.
The Sun claim Arsenal are tracking QPR’s Seny Dieng, who’s been one of few bright sparks for the Championship side despite them hovering perilously above the relegation zone. The need for a reliable backup keeper has been made clear following Runarsson’s mishaps, with the Swiss among those considered.
Long-standing interest remains in David Raya at Brentford, although the Bees’ £20m asking price has proved a sticking point. Dieng is a relative unknown but is garnering interest from fellow Premier League alumni Crystal Palace and Leeds. They too want cover in goal.
Another goalkeeper is needed with the inevitable summer departure for Matt Macey, and with money tight, Dieng poses a more lucrative option to Raya even if he recently signed a new deal until 2024. However, Raya is a more established goalkeeper in the second tier and comes with the all-important bonus of being classed as homegrown.
If QPR drive a hard bargain, then the answer is simple, especially given Raya’s composure with the ball at his feet.
Arsenal do need options in that area, yet on this occasion it wouldn’t be wise to stray too far from initial plans.