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Arsenal Transfer Rumours: Gunners Must Make Landing Iker Casillas Top Priority

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - JUNE 29:  Iker Casillas of Spain in action during a training session, ahead of their FIFA Confederations Cup Brazil 2013 Final match against Brazil, at the Maracana Stadium on June 29, 2013 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.  (Photo by Scott Heavey/Getty Images)
Scott Heavey/Getty Images
Patrick ClarkeCorrespondent IAugust 21, 2013

It didn't take long at all for Arsenal's 2013-14 Premier League campaign to get off to a nightmarish start.

The Gunners were embarrassed in front of their home crowd at Emirates Stadium this past weekend in their league opener. Arsene Wenger's squad wasn't routed by defending champions Manchester United, Manchester City or Chelsea, though. Instead, Arsenal suffered a 3-1 loss to Aston Villa, a club that finished 15th in the league table a season ago.

According to the Daily Mail's John Drayton, the head-scratching result has inspired the Gunners to target Real Madrid goalkeeper Iker Casillas.

Drayton writes that Arsenal would consider a fee in the £8 million range but is concerned that Real would not entertain an offer that low, believing that the Spanish giants value him around £15 million even though Diego Lopez has taken over first-team duties in goal.

But Arsenal can't let finances get in the way. The club has been quiet as usual on the transfer front this summer and will continue to hear it from the fans until it makes a notable addition and proves it is determined to get better and chase titles.

Therefore, Wenger must make Casillas the club's No. 1 priority heading into the Sept. 2 transfer deadline.

While the argument that Arsenal are overreacting to an embarrassing loss can certainly be made considering the Gunners ranked second in the Premier League in fewest goals conceded last season, there's no denying that Casillas would be an upgrade over Wojciech Szczesny, who looked shaky at times in the loss to Villa.

The 32-year-old Casillas, who has been with Real since 1999, has made more than 650 appearances for Los Blancos in all competitions throughout his career, allowing fewer than 700 goals over that time. 

Casillas has also made nearly 150 appearances for the Spanish national team since 2000, playing in and delivering in some of the biggest international matches over the past decade.

Arsenal clearly need additional firepower as well, but until the Gunners shore up their unit front of goal, adding talented attackers can wait. Casillas would bring a tremendous amount of experience to Holloway, and his instincts are as solid as any keeper in today's game. 

If Arsenal are serious about contending right now, they must make landing a proven goalkeeper in Iker Casillas their top priority this summer. 

 

Follow Bleacher Report Featured Columnist Patrick Clarke on Twitter. 

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