Arsenal Transfer Rumors: Julio Cesar Would Be Smart Summer Pickup for Gunners
The Daily Mirror reports that a deal is "expected" to happen this summer, and that Rangers "are convinced the Emirates is his most likely destination."
Whilst it might seem like a strange move for the Gunners to make, it's actually a very smart move—and not just because it adds another squad player to their squad.
Read on to see the biggest reasons why Cesar would be a great summer pickup.
Proven Premier League Performer
Having played in London all year at Queens Park Rangers, Cesar has shown himself to be a world-class goalkeeper. The Brazilian international was the sole reason why Rangers weren't relegated much earlier on in the season and was simply superb when called upon—which, in Harry Redknapp's QPR this season, was pretty often.
According to Squawka, Cesar only chalked up six clean sheets all season, but he made an average of 3.5 saves per game and 2.55 saves between goals. As the table below highlights, compared to some of the greatest Premier League goalkeepers, both of those statistics are astounding.
|Julio Cesar, Queens Park Rangers||37||3.50||2.55|
|David De Gea, Manchester United||26||2.54||3.09|
|Joe Hart, Manchester City||31||1.16||1.48|
|Petr Cech, Chelsea||35||1.74||1.85|
|Hugo Lloris, Tottenham Hotspur||29||1.31||1.21|
|Wojciech Szczesny, Arsenal||24||1.75||1.75|
Key—GA (goals against), SPG (saves per game), SBG (saves between goals).
Cesar is a proven performer in the Premier League and has shown to have great presence inside the box. He is very strong in the air and is therefore well equipped for the English game, and he is also very strong coming out against oncoming attacks.
He's already based in London, too, so he wouldn't have to move far.
Arsenal Need an Experienced GK
However, in terms of the Gunners, the biggest thing is that they need an experienced goalkeeper. Both Lukasz Fabianski and Wojciech Szczesny are under 30, and whilst both are strong, there's another element missing from the goalkeeper ranks at the Emirates Stadium.
What's missing is experience.
Szczesny is clearly a talented goalkeeper who is the clear No. 1 at Arsenal in the future, but what he doesn't have is experience. He's still very young and is nowhere near his peak, and he needs an older goalkeeper at the club to help him strive towards being a better shot-stopper.
Back in 2012, Arsenal tried to sign Mark Schwarzer to fill that "older goalkeeper" role, but the transfer fell through at the last minute, and there's been nothing since.
Fabianski is too prone to mistakes to be a good leader of Szczesny, and he, too, is only 28. Thus moving for Cesar—who is not only a very good goalkeeper but a leader and experienced at 33 years of age—would be a very smart move by the Londoners.
Andrew Mangan of ESPN thinks Szczesny works best when he's facing competition, and he most certainly would have that in Cesar. It would also mean that in the case of freakish injuries—like at the start of this season—Arsenal could have more confidence in playing their third-string goalkeeper against the Premier League's elite.
Unlikely to Break the Bank
QPR are likely to allow the 33-year-old, who they signed on a free [transfer], go cheaply so they can get his £70,000-a-week contract off the books and they are convinced the Emirates is his most likely destination.
For Arsenal, this is an absolute no-brainer of a transfer.
If they can get a goalkeeper like Cesar—who still has at least three to five very good years left in him—for less than £3 million, then they've got an absolute steal.
Arsenal have a strong transfer budget this summer having qualified for the Champions League and are likely to make a number of key moves, and it'll be important that the squad players they look to sign—like Cesar—don't end up costing them too much and hurting their chance at landing a big-name player.
Cesar's small transfer costs won't hurt the Gunners at all, and it will still allow them to make whatever other moves they'd want to make throughout the summer.
By all accounts, Cesar would be a very sharp move for Arsenal to make.
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