The goalkeeping situation at Arsenal has one key similarity to the pursuit of a new playmaker in that whoever comes in will come in. It’s a position that has to be seen to this window in one way or another. It’s a non-negotiable.
While midfield could still be bolstered in the summer to add depth despite the decision to sign Granit Xhaka to a new contract, goalkeeper can’t be solved internally. With Mat Ryan not re-signing on a permanent deal and Alex Runarsson far from the standard required, someone has to be signed.
Andre Onana’s name has been heavily mentioned throughout the window. Across the fanbase there is widespread unity, for once, about him being the preferred target. Rarely does this happen.
His situation at Ajax has been monitored by both Arsenal and their fans, who waited patiently to see the outcome of his CAS hearing against a 12-month doping ban. In many ways his appeal failed since it is still in place, but being reduced to nine months nonetheless constituted an improvement.
Arsenal handed Andre Onana transfer invitation with Ajax goalkeeper turning down summer transfer to Lyon for a bargain £5m deal
The suspension shall now end on November 4 and the Cameroonian will be allowed to restart training with his new team, or Ajax, on September 4.
With Arsenal seeming for all the world as if they would bring him in, the club turned their attentions to a homegrown option. Just as there was clamour for Onana’s signature, there has been equal levels of agreement in not favouring Aaron Ramsdale.
A deal that will cost Arsenal over £30m, beyond the financial aspect there are question marks over his actual ability and suitability to the team. Not a goalkeeper known for his footwork, an elite ball-playing option in that position is what Arteta needs to change the face of Arsenal’s oftentimes disorganised deep build-up play.
Pulling the plug on Onana, the 25-year-old moved inches away from joining Lyon instead with a bargain £5.1m deal agreed between all parties. However, as per De Telegraaf, the Netherlands’ leading paper, he turned down the move at the 11th hour with his sights set on ‘bigger clubs’.
That group is largely felt to include Inter, who had been pushing for an agreement with the player for him to join the Serie A champions once his contract expires with Ajax in 2022. Of course, given the developments, Arsenal supporters have once again began making their voices heard.
Is it feasible?