Here is a scouting report on Fahrmann, a 25-year-old German goalkeeper.
What Makes Fahrmann Great
Despite being a 6'5", 214-pound, broad-shouldered goalkeeper, Fahrmann can make reflex saves like Levante's 6'0" highlight-reel shot-stopper Keylor Navas.
This was evident when Fahrmann acrobatically stopped Borussia Monchengladbach right-winger Patrick Herrmann from scoring in Schalke's 2-1 defeat.
During Schalke's 4-0 win over Hoffenheim, right-forward Kevin Volland cut in and curled the ball aiming for the bottom-left corner, but he was denied by a great save from Fahrmann.
In Schalke's 0-0 draw against Mainz, Shinji Okazaki's snap-shot was saved by a diving Fahrmann, who made eight saves that game.
Seven of Mario Mandzukic's 17 league goals come via headers, per Bundesliga.com, however, one of his bullet headers was snuffed out by a Fahrmann save, which had some parallels to Szczesny stopping Manchester United centre-forward Robin van Persie from scoring in a 0-0 draw against Arsenal.
Fährmann deserves a raise after this game. Phenomenal. Bayern could be up by 10 were it not for him.— Cristian Nyari (@Cnyari) March 1, 2014
On the subject of Fahrmann and Szczesny, here is a statistical breakdown of both keepers' season in league play.
|Saves Per Game||4.2||2.9|
|Goals Conceded Per Game||0.87||1.16|
|Saves Per Goal Conceded||3.7||2.5|
|Clean Sheets %||53.3||41.9|
Statistically speaking, Szczesny is solid; it's just that Fahrmann is on another level.
8 - @s04 keeper Ralf Fährmann has kept 8 clean sheets in 15 BL games this season, only Manuel Neuer has kept more clean sheets (14). Wall.— OptaFranz (@OptaFranz) March 26, 2014
Borussia Dortmund left-attacking midfielder Marco Reus will attest to that when he had three goal-bound shots saved by Fahrmann as Schalke held on to a 0-0 draw.
Fahrmann consistently coming to Schalke's rescue—something previous No. 1 Timo Hildebrand did not do this season—is why Fahrmann is the highest-rated goalkeeper in the Bundesliga right now, per Kicker.de and Bild.de.
Ideal Candidate To Push Szczesny
Fahrmann's identity is not vested in being an undisputed No. 1 because his entire career so far has been waiting and hoping for an opportunity.
He started this season second to Hildebrand.
Wasn't sure about the decision of Keller to promote Fährmann over Hildebrand at the time, but could well prove a good one.— DW - Sports (@dw_sports) March 1, 2014
Last season, Fahrmann was Schalke's third-choice behind Lars Unnerstall and Hildebrand.
During the 2008-09 Bundesliga season, Fahrmann and Mathias Schober were the backups to Manuel Neuer at Schalke.
The following season at Eintracht Frankfurt, Fahrmann was the understudy for Oka Nikolov, a stalwart entering his 14th year at Eintracht.
The idea of Arsenal signing Fahrmann is not to discard Szczesny, a 23-year-old Polish international with world-class ability, to the scrapheap.
It is to force Szczesny to iron out his mistakes because if he doesn't, he will be watching Fahrmann make saves for an extended period of time.
Well, isn't that Fabianski's job?
Szczesny is not worried about Fabianski, who does not want to be a Gunner having rejected a new three-year contract, per Matt Law at the Telegraph.
Personally hope Fabianski can be convinced to stay but somewhat doubt will happen,has always been about confidence not ability.— Darren (@DarrenArsenal1) March 12, 2014
Fabianski is a lame-duck backup, so Szczesny knows barring injury or suspension, he will not be dropped for a player who has no future as a Gunner.
This is where Fahrmann, who has risen from being a backup to No. 1, comes in. He could be the most invaluable addition to Wenger's German contingent.
Is Ralf Fährmann good enough to play for Germany? Horst Heldt and Jens Keller certainly seem to think so.— Schalke UK news (@Schalke_UK) March 19, 2014
Statistics via WhoScored