Scouting Report: Is Vincent Enyeama Arsenal's Top Goalkeeper Target?

Allan JiangTransfers CorrespondentJune 16, 2014

CURITIBA, BRAZIL - JUNE 16: Vincent Enyeama of Nigeria gestures during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Group F match between Iran and Nigeria at Arena da Baixada on June 16, 2014 in Curitiba, Brazil.  (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)
Julian Finney/Getty Images

Could Lille's Nigerian international Vincent Enyeama, a 31-year-old, 6'0", 192-pound goalkeeper, be a summer transfer window target for Arsenal?

To cover that hypothetical, this article grades Enyeama's performance against Iran at the 2014 FIFA World Cup and provides a scouting report on his season for Lille.


Enyeama vs. Iran Grade: B

Nigeria's brand of football was boring, dull, lifeless and uninspiring in a 0-0 draw against Iran. 

Nigerian national team manager Stephen Keshi set his side up to avoid losing, and Enyeama was a big reason why that objective was accomplished. 


Enyeama commanded his box, claiming three crosses.

Denying Iranian centre-forward Reza Ghoochannejhad with a reflex save was the game-changing moment.



The reason why Enyeama did not receive a higher grade was inactivity. 

He was not required to make saves, as Iran were content with a draw. 


Arsenal Signing Enyeama: Positives

Enyeama is statistically superior to current Arsenal goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny.

League OnlyVincent EnyeamaWojciech Szczesny
Games Played3837
Saves Per Game 2.93.1
Saves Per Goal Conceded4.22.8
Clean Sheets2116

[1] blocks included. 

Sources: and the official Premier League website.

Enyeama had a world-class season for Lille, which was justified by his inclusion in L'Equipe's Team of the Season

Enyeama had continued his extraordinary form, having been named in the best XI by L'Equipe at the halfway point of last season. 

Enyeama made a series of remarkable saves for Lille. 

Enyeama darts across his line to save Marseille centre-forward Andre-Pierre Gignac's fierce volley.

Source: Ligue

From the penalty spot, Enyeama anticipates the direction of Montpellier central attacking midfielder Remy Cabella's spot-kick and saves it.  

Source: Ligue

Scampering back, Enyeama vaults up to tip over Toulouse right wing-back Serge Aurier's chip shot. 

Source: Ligue

Moving forward, Enyeama charges out to block the shot of Guingamp centre-forward Mustapha Yatabare.

Source: Ligue

Same result when the ball fell into the path of Rennes central midfielder Abdoulaye Doucoure.

Like Olusoji Fasuba sprinting out of the blocks, Enyeama closes down Doucoure's shooting angle and blocks the shot with his shin. 

Source: Ligue


Arsenal Signing Enyeama: Negatives

Enyeama is not indomitable and did have substandard moments. 

He palms Nice centre-back Mathieu Bodmer's innocuous backheel kick into the back of the net. 

Source: Ligue

Enyeama is caught in no man's land, allowing Roma's Ajaccio loanee Gadji Tallo to lob the ball into an unguarded net. 


If Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger is searching for a cost-effective goalkeeper, then Enyeama is not his man. 

Enyeama extended his contract at Lille until 2017.

"I just want to continue to help the team in goals this season, but also in those that follow," Enyeama said, per Lille's official website (h/t FourFourTwo). "I'm really happy to be part of this team and very happy to have signed this contract extension."

Lille will not feel compelled to sell Enyeama unless a significant transfer bid is lodged. 


Bottom Line

Enyeama is a seasoned professional with over a decade of international football experience. 

He is in career-best form and made a crucial save against Iran. 

With no quality backup to push Szczesny, Wenger should consider signing Enyeama in the summer transfer window. 



Statistics via