Arsenal: Iker Casillas and the Goalkeepers Arsene Wenger Must Look at in Summer

Karl MatchettFeatured ColumnistApril 7, 2013

Arsenal: Iker Casillas and the Goalkeepers Arsene Wenger Must Look at in Summer

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    Arsenal have made a late-season switch in the goalkeeping department of their first team, with manager Arsene Wenger still unhappy with his options in that area of the field.

    While Wojciech Szczesny has been the No.1 for most of the campaign, errors, hesitancy and concerns over his mentality and form have seen Lukasz Fabianski reinstated recently. A good performance against West Brom will strengthen his own claim to keep his place for the rest of the season, but in the summer, Wenger may look to external options.

    Arsenal have been linked with a move for out-of-favour Real Madrid goalkeeper Iker Casillas once more, a repeat of a January transfer window rumour (via Marca.com).

    Here are five top goalkeepers that Arsenal should look at during the transfer window, if Wenger decides to bring in a new first choice.

Iker Casillas

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    One of the best goalkeepers on the planet, Iker Casillas would not be considered a potential target in any normal season—but loss of form saw him lose his place in Real Madrid's team before the winter break, and his misfortune has continued.

    A fractured hand at the end of January saw him miss around two months of action, with Real signing Diego Lopez to cover for him.

    Though now fit, Casillas remains on the bench due to Lopez's fine form.

    It is probable that, sooner or later, Casillas will win his spot back, but if it doesn't happen this side of the end of the season and Arsenal strike soon enough, there is the slightest chance that the World Cup-winning captain could jump ship from the Bernabeu.

Marc-Andre Ter Stegen

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    Wenger loves his promising youngsters and still regards Szczesny as such, but another highly rated goalkeeper could come on Arsenal's radar in the summer.

    Borussia Moenchengladbach goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen is one of the best young stoppers around and has been linked with a move to the likes of Barcelona already (via ESPN).

    He is athletic, has good handling skills, is able to distribute well with his feet and hands and is already a full international for Germany at age 20. Ter Stegen has no shortage of admirers and will certainly fetch an eight-figure price if he leaves 'Gladbach this summer.

Igor Akinfeev

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    CSKA Moscow stopper Igor Akinfeev is an experienced player with almost 60 international caps and 300 senior games to his name—despite only being 26 years old.

    He should be entering the prime of his goalkeeping years over the next four or five seasons and is already one of the most renowned names in the footballing world. The Russian has improved his game significantly from his younger, more erratic years and would be a top-class signing for Arsenal or any other side.

    Akinfeev has a reported market value of between £15 and £20 million.

Pepe Reina

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    The rumour of Pepe Reina moving to Arsenal is a long-standing and recurring one.

    Currently playing for Premier League rivals Liverpool, Reina has a wealth of experience in the game, has won multiple trophies and awards while playing in England and would need no period of adaptation unlike the other names.

    Reina was confirmed as a target for Arsenal in the summer, and it seems his name still figures to be high on a list of new stoppers for the Gunners.

Rui Patricio

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    Finally, a player whom the Gunners have already reportedly made a bid for—Portugal No.1 Rui Patricio.

    With Sporting Lisbon struggling in the domestic league, Rui Patricio could determine this to be the right time to further his career and get back to playing European football.

    At 25 years old, Patricio has a long-term contract at Sporting and reportedly will cost Arsenal around £12 million.