According to French sources quoted by talkSport, Arsenal are weighing up a move for Marseille goalkeeper Steve Mandanda. According to the reports, Wenger is keen on getting a matured keeper to replace the current number one Polish man Wojciech Szczesny and the Frenchman has been deemed an old head good enough to take that mantle.
While I am not surprised at Wenger’s seeming pursuit of Mandanda, I am surprised at the person he is been tipped to replace. Szczesny has been in superb form this season and has been one of the reasons why Arsenal title charge is still alive. The Polish stopper has kept twelve clean sheets this season.
Should Mandanda come to Arsenal, it would be to replace Fabianski rather than his younger compatriot. Fabianski’s contract expires in the summer and the Polish man seems ready to want to leave the Emirates in search of regular first team football as he has seen his younger countryman difficult to displace in the first team. Arsenal are open to renewing his deal but Wenger might not want to stand in his way of regular football. If he didn’t stop Mannone who is younger than Fabianski, I don’t see him stopping the Polish man.
Should Mandanda arrive, once again, the first choice position would be thrown open as both men are good enough for it and hopefully a healthy rivalry will ensue, one that would make Szczesny better as Wenger and even me see him as Arsenal’s long term solution to the goalkeeping conundrum but he needs to get rid of complacency and that, Mandanda’s presence will ensure.
Szczesny is having a good season this season because he had a fair share of a stint on the bench, a situation which showed him that he wasn’t indispensable. If Fabianski’s presence and stint in the first team at his expense could do that, Mandanda would do much more.