Scouting Report: Why Arsenal Must Sign Ralf Fahrmann to Challenge Szczesny

Allan JiangTransfers CorrespondentMarch 27, 2014

MADRID, SPAIN - MARCH 18:  Goalkeeper Ralf Fahrmann of Schalke dives in vain as Alvaro Morata of Real Madrid scores his team's third goal during the UEFA Champions League Round of 16, second leg match between Real Madrid and FC Schalke 04 at Estadio Santiago Bernabeu on March 18, 2014 in Madrid, Spain.  (Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images)
Denis Doyle/Getty Images

Since goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski is "expected to leave" Arsenal, per Sky Sports, manager Arsene Wenger should consider signing Schalke's Ralf Fahrmann, who can challenge Wojciech Szczesny

Here is a scouting report on Fahrmann, a 25-year-old German goalkeeper. 


What Makes Fahrmann Great 

Fahrmann is the same height as Szczesny (6'5") but outweighs the Arsenal keeper by 29 pounds.

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, 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. 


On the subject of Fahrmann and Szczesny, here is a statistical breakdown of both keepers' season in league play. 

League OnlyFahrmann Szczesny
Saves Per Game4.22.9
Goals Conceded1336
Goals Conceded Per Game0.871.16
Saves Per Goal Conceded3.72.5
Save %80.972.2
Clean Sheets813
Clean Sheets %53.341.9

Statistically speaking, Szczesny is solid; it's just that Fahrmann is on another level. 

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 and




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. 

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. 

LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 22:  A dejected Wojciech Szczesny of Arsenal sits on the pitch after conceding a fourth goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Chelsea and Arsenal at Stamford Bridge on March 22, 2014 in London, England.  (Photo by R
Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

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

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. 



Statistics via WhoScored