Arsenal Transfer News: Emiliano Viviano the Right Man to Replace Szczesny
Arsenal agreed a deal on Sunday to secure the loan signing of goalkeeper Emiliano Viviano from Palermo for the 2013-14 season, with a view to a permanent deal, as reported by Jamie Sanderson of Metro.
Italian international Viviano, 27, was a target for the Gunners last summer but ended up spending the season on loan with hometown side Fiorentina—only to return to a Palermo side relegated to Serie B.
Now, with the transfer deadline just a day away, he is said to be on his way to London for a medical ahead of a deal's possible completion on Monday.
The goalkeeper position is an area that Arsenal have struggled in over recent times, with neither Wojciech Szczesny nor Lukasz Fabianski able to consistently convince as the club's first-choice.
A club of Arsenal's stature simply cannot afford to be worrying about whether their goalkeeper is going to make a mistake, and it may have been Szczesny's opening-day mistake to concede a penalty against Aston Villa that prompted the club to look around once more.
Viviano, while perhaps not as spritely in his reactions as Szczesny, is at least a consistent performer. Known for his command of the penalty area, he will be exactly the type of reliable presence that Arsenal require in goal.
It is no doubt this assured presence has drawn the Gunners toward Viviano.
They do not need a spectacular shot-stopper, but they desperately need someone who is going to claim crosses, reassure defenders and not rush out of his goal on a regular basis. The former Bologna goalkeeper is ideal.
A loan deal, also, makes sense for Arsenal at the present time. If Viviano does not meet expectations, the Gunners could always look elsewhere next summer.
Will Viviano be a success at Arsenal?
However, if he were to do well at the Emirates Stadium—as would seem more likely, they could then pick him up for what would not be an excessive asking price in 12 months' time.
Whether Arsenal will look to keep both of their Polish goalkeepers this season, or send one of the pair out on loan, remains to be seen. It may well be that, by bringing in Viviano, Arsenal would be able to also send out Szczesny to rebuild his confidence and work on his judgement elsewhere—technically, he is a good goalkeeper.
In all senses, the move for Viviano appears to be the right step for Arsenal and is, without doubt, the best piece of transfer business the club will have completed thus far in the summer.
On Monday, though, Arsene Wenger and the club's hierarchy will need to act quickly to ensure more recruits follow, or a miserable season could follow regarding the club's top-four hopes.
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