Arsenal Transfer Rumors: Gunners Target Asmir Begovic To Replace Wojciech Szczesny

   on April 10 2013 11:05 AM
Arsenal Transfer Rumors: Gunners Target Asmir Begovic To Replace Wojciech Szczesny

Arsenal could target a transfer for Stoke City goalkeeper Asmir Begovic, to replace struggling youngster Wojciech Szczesny. Begovic would be a significant upgrade on Szczesny.

A report in The Daily Telegraph suggests Arsenal would land Begovic, if they pay £15 million for to the Potters. That's an investment Arsenal must make given their current woes between the posts.

Boss Arsene Wenger has failed to identify a credible starting goalkeeper since Jens Lehmann left the club in 2008. The often eccentric German shot stopper was at least a commanding last line of defence.

Calamity 'keeper Manuel Almunia followed Lehmann and tended goal for the Gunners for too long. Current starter Lukasz Fabianski has never been consistent enough to be a regular first choice.

When Szczesny broke into the team in December, 2010, Arsenal's problems appeared to be over. As a youthful, agile 'keeper Szczesny appeared to be a rising star at the position.

Unfortunately for the Gunners Szczesny has regressed during the last two seasons. He was an ever-present in the back five that conceded 49 English Premier League goals in the 2011/12 campaign.

This season he has never recovered from a clumsy showing for Poland at Euro 2012. Szczesny is now as error-prone as Almunia and Fabianski.

It's become easy to expect blunders from the over-confident 22-year-old. His technique is sluggish and he fails to stop too many shots he should save, particularly from distance.

Wenger has responded to Szczesny's cavalier attitude to improving his game by dropping him for Fabianski. With Szczesny relegated to the bench, Arsenal have conceded only two goals in four games.

However, Wenger still needs a more trustworthy custodian next season and he won't find one better than Begovic. Since becoming the regular No.1 at Portsmouth in 2009, he's quickly emerged as one of the most accomplished 'keepers in England's top flight.

The towering Bosnia international is athletic and dominant in the box. He's also entering his prime years aged just 25.

Arsenal have had a fractious relationship with Stoke City since 2008. Some intense encounters and City's overly-physical style have strained communication between the two clubs.

However, that doesn't mean the Potters would be likely to turn down an offer in the region of £15 million. In January they acquired young English 'keeper Jack Butland from Birmingham City.

Butland is considered a potential future England international. It seems unlikely he would have left Birmingham to curtail his development by deputizing for Begovic.

Arsenal have a clutch of possible needs to address this summer. Central defence and attacking midfield are also areas of concern.

However, Wenger has let the goalkeeper position remain in flux for too long. For £15 million he would finally have a credible starter who would instantly upgrade Arsenal's back five.