Scouting Report: Could Marwin Hitz Be Arsenal's Surprise Transfer Target?

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Scouting Report: Could Marwin Hitz Be Arsenal's Surprise Transfer Target?
Matthias Schrader/Associated Press

Could Augsburg's Marwin Hitz be an Arsenal summer transfer window signing out of left field? To cover that hypothetical, here is a scouting report on Hitz, a 26-year-old Swiss goalkeeper.

 

Positives

Source: Kicker.de.

At 6'4", 185 pounds, Hitz possesses the archetypal size you seek in a top-flight goalkeeper.

He was limber in his movements to get into position as he sprung up to punch the goal-bound high-velocity shot of Hamburg utility player Tomas Rincon over the crossbar.

Source: Bundesliga.com.

Hitz made several last-ditch saves to stop clear-cut goalscoring opportunities.

His reflex save denied Bayern Munich right-winger Arjen Robben a headed goal after a pinpoint cross from Bayern centre-forward Mario Mandzukic.

Source: Bundesliga.com.

Hitz was in position to thwart Eintracht Frankfurt utility player Stephan Schrock's header.

Source: Bundesliga.com.

Hamburg right attacking midfielder Maximilian Beister had an open look, but his shot was foiled by Hitz.

Source: Bundesliga.com.

In a play against Mainz, Hitz immediately readjusted his position and cut down the angle as he stopped Mainz central attacking midfielder Koo Ja-cheol from scoring after the ball rolled into the South Korean's path.

Source: Bundesliga.com.

League Only Marwin Hitz Wojciech Szczesny
     
Games Played 19 37
Saves Per Game 3.4 3.1
Saves Per Goal Conceded 3.3 2.8
Save % 77.4 73.3
Clean Sheets Per Game 0.37 0.43
     

Sources: Fox Soccer Bundesliga, Fox Soccer Premier League and the official Premier League website.


When you consider Hitz's history as a reserve at his previous club, Wolfsburg, he had a breakout season for Augsburg, and it was noticed.

Bild eye-catchingly ranked Hitz above Marc-Andre ter Stegen, who is now a Barcelona player, and Bernd Leno, one of the best shot-stoppers in Germany.

Source: Bild.de.

 

Negatives

Hitz missed seven games due to injury and backed up former Arsenal goalkeeper Alex Manninger for six games and Mohamed Amsif for two games.

Hitz played 55.9 percent of Augsburg's league games, has never started 34 league games in a season and averages eight Bundesliga appearances per campaign.

His lack of playing time is a red flag.

Hitz's biggest problem is his slapdash thought process.

This contributed to him cutting down Robben, whose "right knee was bleeding and swathed in bandages," per Bayern's official website, after the random slide-tackle

Source: Bundesliga.com/Sky.de.

There was no communication when Hitz darted straight at Augsburg left-back Matthias Ostrzolek, whose attempted clearance rebounded off Hitz's face for a calamitous own goal against Mainz.

Source: Bundesliga.com.

Hitz whiffed at Dortmund defensive midfielder Sven Bender's header and collided into Ostrzolek.

Source: Bundesliga.com.

Another area Hitz needs to improve is saving penalties.

Hitz went the opposite direction when Mainz left attacking midfielder Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting took his spot-kick.

Source: Bundesliga.com.

This happened again when Bayern right-winger Thomas Mueller converted his penalty.

Source: Bundesliga.com.

Against Stuttgart centre-forward Vedad Ibisevic, Hitz dived the right direction, but the shot was perfectly placed.

Source: Bundesliga.com.

If Hitz wants to master the art of saving penalties, he needs to study tape of Bayer Leverkusen's Leno, Bordeaux's Cedric Carrasso and Inter Milan's Samir Handanovic, three penalty-saving experts.

 

Bottom Line

While Bild rate Hitz highly, Kicker ranked him as the 11th-best goalkeeper in the Bundesliga, so he splits opinion.

Source: Kicker.de.

Ottmar Hitzfeld, the Swiss national team manager who won seven Bundesliga titles managing Bayern and Borussia Dortmund, placed Hitz "on standby" for the 2014 FIFA World Cup, per BBC Sport.

This means Hitzfeld and his brain trust rate Hitz as the fourth-best Swiss goalkeeper—is that good enough for Arsenal?

Given Schalke goalkeeper Ralf Fahrmann's swift ascension from obscurity, Hitz has the potential to transition into an elite goalkeeper.

Hitz should be a backup transfer target for Arsenal because there are better options in the market, such as free agent Guillermo Ochoa, per Tom Marshall at Goal.com.

 

@allanjianga

Statistics via WhoScored.com.

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