Arsenal

Arsenal Transfer News: David Marshall Swoop Would Be Savvy Signing for Gunners

CARDIFF, WALES - APRIL 19:  David Marshall of Cardiff City during the Barclays Premier League match between Cardiff City and Stoke City at the Cardiff City Stadium on April 19, 2014 in Cardiff, Wales.  (Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images)
Michael Steele/Getty Images
Tom SunderlandFeatured ColumnistMay 28, 2014

Cardiff City's relegation to the Championship provides those surviving Premier League clubs with an opening to move in for numerous cut-price targets this summer, but none makes more sense than goalkeeper David Marshall.

The Telegraph's Matt Law writes that Arsene Wenger will seek to fill the void vacated by departing free agent Lukasz Fabianski with a £15 million move for the Scottish international.

SOUTHAMPTON, ENGLAND - APRIL 12:  Goalkeeper David Marshall of Cardiff looks on during the Barclays Premier League match between Southampton and Cardiff City at St Mary's Stadium on April 12, 2014 in Southampton, England.  (Photo by Steve Bardens/Getty Im
Steve Bardens/Getty Images

And not only would Marshall's acquisition sufficiently fill a Fabianski-shaped incision in the squad, but it would also promise to burst forth from those restraints and overlap into the path of Wojciech Szczesny.

For many, the Gunners' current No. 1 is still a work in progress and one that will ultimately come good with enough chances at the elite level. For others, Arsenal need a more immediate and consistent guardian in between the sticks.

LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 22:  Wojciech Szczesny of Arsenal in action during the Barclays Premier League match between Arsenal and Sunderland at Emirates Stadium on February 22, 2014 in London, England.  (Photo by Jamie McDonald/Getty Images)
Jamie McDonald/Getty Images

Marshall can help in both pursuits by forcing Szczesny to be better, offering the kind of pressure that the Polish international hasn't really been subject to during his time at the Emirates Stadium but has undoubtedly required.

Despite the Premier League interest, Marshall was quoted by Wales Online (via Sky Sports) in early May as saying he could stick with his Welsh employers, confident that the side will bounce back to the top flight next term:

It is very disappointing, the boys are absolutely gutted to be relegated. It's not been enough in the end to keep us up. We expected more from the season and we've obviously been left very disappointed by this. There was not a lot we could say in the dressing room afterwards. Everybody has just been left devastated.

It's going to be a hard couple of weeks now and we're just trying to get out heads around it all. The manager has asked us to do that. We've got a squad in there that won the Championship quite comfortably last season.

Marshall may be right in his assessment of the Bluebirds' chances of an immediate return, but he wouldn't be the first relegated star to be ultimately wooed by the first-tier chances laid in front of him.

Broadcaster Mark Pougatch even goes so far as to say that Marshall was Cardiff's best player in the 2013-14 campaign:

While a leaky defence meant that his rate of concession wasn't always flattering, Squawka shows that the 29-year-old made an average of 3.49 saves per game last season, as well as 1.77 saves per goal.

Marshall isn't yet at the status where he can demand a starting place under Wenger, and £15 million would be a mighty sum for a player who could well ride the bench if Szczesny were to react in the manner Arsenal fans would want, but then that outcome would be worth a pretty penny, too.

CARDIFF, WALES - FEBRUARY 01: David Marshall of Cardiff celebrates after team mate Kenwyne-Jones scores his team's second goal of the game during the Barclays Premier League match between Cardiff City and Norwich City at Cardiff City Stadium on February 1
Ben Hoskins/Getty Images

It's an expensive situation to consider, but a win-win scenario as far as the north Londoners should be concerned. The most positive result would be to see the club have two top-class goalkeepers under its command, while the worst outcome is it settles for one improved alternative.

Whether that's Marshall or Szczesny would be for the stoppers themselves to decide.

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