Arsenal are keeping tabs on positions across the pitch with midfield currently taking centre stage. That hasn’t prevented work being done elsewhere, as well as they kept under wraps, with the goalkeeping department on the list.
It will be interesting to see how much work is done while the European Championships are underway. All clubs would have ideally concluded their business before the tournament kicked off, but it would also have been nice to not be woken up by cats fighting at 4:30AM. We can’t have everything in life.
There are plenty of irons in the fire already, however, and depending on what you believe there is every chance that Arsenal could have signed an entirely new starting XI by now.
Kicking off in goal, Andre Onana has discovered the outcome of his Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) appeal against his 12-month doping ban, one he maintained throughout was an error. As per Goal’s Charles Watts, that ban has been reduced to nine months, in a huge moment for the player and Arsenal.
Arsenal earn huge Andre Onana transfer boost with Ajax goalkeeper’s ban reduced to nine months with summer transfer window now open
As it stands now, he will be available to play again on November 3rd and will be able to train with his new club, which looks set to be Arsenal, again from September 3rd. Almost like being signed on deadline day.
Arsenal have been heavily tracking the Cameroonian stopper. Originally eyeing a January deal, they instead opted to bring in Mat Ryan due it being more financially viable, a move that proved wise as Onana received his ban the following month.
His arrival would cement him as the first choice, with Bernd Leno open to a move and Arsenal open to a sale, reports The Athletic. In the meantime, another goalkeeper will be sourced, albeit not a ‘back-up’; the Gunners want a younger goalkeeper who is homegrown to compete for the No. 1 spot. More work on top of more work.
However, Onana would have been signed this summer, reported football.london, regardless of whether his ban was upheld or not. Now it has been, he won’t be available for a £1.5m bargain, but instead will still be signed at a steal for closer to £7m. It’s a deal that edges closer to completion despite interest from elsewhere.
It’s surprisingly smart business; Onana is an excellent goalkeeper. Arsenal have sourced their new first choice, in essence, in advance. Leno could stay and play into his final year where his value won’t drop considerably, and even if it does, they’ve just signed a stopper who was worth £50m two seasons ago for pittance.
This move will now gather pace quickly and a final decision on Leno’s future needs to be made. He will not want to stay on just to be used as first choice for a few months, so a sale may be pushed ahead as long as interested buyers come forward.
Of course, that is, considering that the Onana deal goes ahead as expected.