Arsenal Transfer Rumours: Gunners Eyeing Italian Stopper Emiliano Viviano

James Dudko@@JamesDudkoFeatured ColumnistJune 29, 2012

TURIN, ITALY - FEBRUARY 26:  Emiliano Viviano of Bologna FC issues instructions during the Serie A match between Juventus FC and Bologna FC at Olimpico Stadium on February 26, 2011 in Turin, Italy.  (Photo by Valerio Pennicino/Getty Images)
Valerio Pennicino/Getty Images has reported that Arsenal are one of the suitors for goalkeeper Emiliano Viviano. The 26-year-old Italian international could be the ideal cover for young, but inconsistent talent, Wojciech Szczesny.

Viviano currently plays for Palermo, but Serie A giants Inter Milan also own part of his contract. He rose to prominence with Bologna, but his career was interrupted by a serious knee ligament injury, suffered in the summer of 2011.

Viviano missed significant time last season and has had to prove himself all over again. An athletic shot stopper with a penchant for the highlight-worthy save, Viviano would provide strong competition for the often complacent looking Szczesny.

Arsenal's young 'keeper certainly has the talent, but he has been guilty of appearing too casual at times. This has led to some costly errors and Szczesny hardly enhanced his reputation with a calamitous performance for Poland in their opening Uefa Euro 2012 group game.

The 22-year-old lost his place in the national team and is heading for an important crossroads in his development. Szczesny could benefit from facing pressure for his job from a credible rival.

Lukas Fabianski has struggled with injury, while Vito Mannone has been away on loan. That has left mistake-prone veteran Manuel Almunia as the only cover and that's hardly suitable competition for Szczesny.

Viviano is more powerfully built than Szczesny and like the young Pole, he is excellent in one on one situations. However, Arsenal would have to move quickly, with also reporting that Fiorentina could lead the chase, due to Viviano being a Florence native.