Goalkeeper on Wenger’s radar.
Arsenal are said to be weighing up a January move for Sunderland star Simon Mignolet as manager Arsene Wenger mulls over his goalkeeping options.
Wenger remains a huge fan of first-choice keeper Wojciech Szczesny, but has lost confidence in deputies Lukasz Fabianski and Vito Mannone, and is planning a reshuffle.
Liverpool stopper Pepe Reina is the preferred choice, but is likely to prove too expensive, while chief scout Steve Rowley has warned against bids for the inconsistent Ali Al-Habsi of Wigan, and Stoke’s Asmir Begovic.
Instead, Sunderland’s Belgian international Mignolet is an increasingly attractive option, and Arsenal are ready to keep close tabs on his progress over the busy Christmas schedule.
Mignolet has impressed for Sunderland following his switch from Sint-Truiden in 2010, and Wenger believed to be willing to commit £5million to do business.
A contingent of technically gifted Belgian stars have taken the Premier League by storm this term, with Marouane Fellaini, Moussa Dembele, Christian Benteke, Jan Vertonghen and Eden Hazard all standing out.
But one Belgium international, Sunderland’s Simon Mignolet, has gone relatively unnoticed, except by regulars at the Stadium of Light.
The 6’3″ goalkeeper has made the number one spot his own on Wearside, starting every one of the Black Cats 18 Premier League games this term and impressing, despite the poor start made by Martin O’Neill’s side.
The 24-year-old is still a relative infant in goalkeeping years (ask 78-year-old Brad Friedel) and is reportedly a target for Arsenal.
The Gunners have been linked with a number of top goalkeepers, with boss Arsene Wenger no longer convinced by Wojciech Szczesny.
The Pole had a fine season last term but has looked shaky during the current campaign and, when injured, his replacement Vito Mannone has not looked up to the requisite quality.
Wenger’s team sit third in the Premier League but the Frenchman is reportedly planning a major squad overhaul in January and he will know that a great goalkeeper is key to any side’s success.
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