Arsenal Transfer Rumors: Gunners Must Bring Hugo Lloris to Emirates Stadium

Ian HanfordFeatured ColumnistJuly 5, 2012

PARIS, FRANCE - MARCH 29:  Goalkeeper, Hugo Lloris of France looks on during the International friendly match between France and Croatia at Stade de France on March 29, 2011 in Paris, France.  (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)
Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images

Robin van Persie finally told the soccer world, via his website, that he plans on leaving Arsenal for greener pastures. The Gunners will sorely miss his electric scoring ability, but they shouldn't attempt to replace it.

That sounds crazy, I know, but Van Persie's presence is not going to be replaced by one man. Arsenal could overpay for a scoring midfielder like Clint Dempsey, Alan Dzagoev or Hatem Ben Arfa, but that's not the best option. 

Instead of making a futile attempt to replace Van Persie's goals (96 in 194 career Arsenal appearances), they must bolster their defense. 

The best way to do that is through their goalkeeping.

Hull City is trying to lure Vito Mannone to their side next season, and Wojciech Szczesny is far from consistent.

Lyon's Hugo Lloris would be a major upgrade over both keepers, and could be available to Arsenal for £16 million, according to the Daily Mail

Arsenal will have to shell-out £16million if they want to land France international goalkeeper Hugo Lloris from Lyon.

Club president Jean-Michel Aulas has revealed Lloris would jump at the chance to join on of Europe's elite clubs and has announced the 20million euro fee is the expected market value.

Adding Lloris would instantly give the Gunners an impact player in the net. He's the first-choice keeper for Lyon and France's national team, and he serves as the French national team's captain as well. The 25-year-old keeper is world-class in every respect. 

It's going to be tempting for Arsene Wenger and the Arsenal brass to try to sign a copious amount of goalscorers, but keeping balls out of their own net will be their best offense next season. They already signed Lukas Podolski and Olivier Giroud earlier this summer, so they don't need to dump more money into their offensive plans. 

Having said that, signing Lloris won't necessarily be smooth sailing. According to the report, Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas has set a deadline for his potential departure. 

If Arsene Wenger, or any of Europe's other top clubs want Lloris they have just a small window of opportunity to make their move.

Aulas told the club's website: 'If there is no offer before July 15 he will remain at the club for the coming season. For the moment there has been no offer from Arsenal or anywhere else.

The report states that Lloris wants to play for a top-five European club, and Lyon isn't that. Arsenal is among Europe's most prestigious names, and they would provide Lloris with exactly what he's looking for. 

Last year, Lloris had seven shutouts in 14 appearances with Lyon. He's won three Ligue 1 Goalkeeper of the Year awards and he's just entering the prime of his career.

Rather than sign a marginal offensive talent to try to make up for the Premier League's best striker, the Gunners must make sure their defense is ready to go. It would be smarter for Wenger to assume that his side isn't going to score as many goals and instead take the necessary precautions to make sure opposing sides don't either. 

Lloris is young, talented and affordable. Wenger and the Gunners brass need to make sure they hit Lyon's July 15 deadline and bring the keeper to the Emirates Stadium next season.