Seven Reasons Why Arsenal Should Sign Vincent Enyeama
Last season, Arsenal dropped crucial points due to goalkeeping errors. Earlier last week, Arsenal Chairman Peter Hill-Wood revealed that Arsenal had made an inquiry for Fulham goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer, which was rebuffed. This shows that the club are on the market for a new keeper.
He is a World Class Keeper
Vincent Enyeama compensates for his height (1.85m) by his athleticism and ability to pull off acrobatic saves as he possesses a great natural jump and an excellent sense of positioning.
He was voted Man of the Match in Nigeria's 1-0 loss to Argentina in Group Stages of the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, pulling off a series of impressive saves to keep the likes of Lionel Messi, Carlos Tevez, and Gonzalo Higuain at bay after the Argentines had taken an early lead.
World Player of the Year Lionel Messi said, "The goalkeeper was phenomenal, he takes all the credit. We played a great game and created a lot of chances. We just couldn't get the second goal."
Had he been in goal for Arsenal at the Nou Camp, I doubt it if Barcelona would have been able to score two goals against him.
He Has Shown the Right Career Progression
Vincent started his career with Ibom Stars in Nigeria in 1999. In 2001 he signed for Enyimba of Aba where he was a major part of the team that won consecutive Nigerian Premier League titles in 2001, 2002, and 2003. During that period, he also won the African Champions League twice in 2003 and 2004.
In 2005 he signed for Iwanyanwu Nationale, after which he moved overseas to Bnei Yehuda of Israel, playing between 2005 and 2007. In 2007 he signed for Hapoel Tel Aviv, with whom he won the League and Cup double in 2010.
His career has shown a patient and steady growth as he has been with championship-winning teams, and as such has the champions' mentality sorely needed in the present Arsenal team.
He is a Seasoned International
Born 29 August 1982, Vincent Enyeama made his international debut in goal for Nigeria against Kenya at the age of 19 on May 4, 2002. He was included in the Nigeria squad for the 2002 World Cup and kept a clean sheet in the final group game against England.
Since then he has gone on to make 55 appearances as the first choice goalkeeper for the Super Eagles. He briefly lost his place in 2008 after a fall-out with then-national coach Berti Vogts who frankly didn't have a clue about Nigerian Football.
As a full international, he meets all the criteria for a work permit and there will be no issues in that regard should Arsenal decide to sign him.
He is a Passionate and Committed Player
In the 2007/2008 Enyeama wrote a passionate letter to his team mates at Hapoel Tel Aviv encouraging them to fight as one for the club. This proved crucial as they not only avoided relegation but also reached the State Cup Final.
He is known to be a charismatic leader in the national team, often leading in singing and prayers during training sessions and has the respect of his fellow players.
An influence as his would surely impact positively on the Arsenal dressing room and can only rub off positively on the likes of Diaby, Denilson, and Walcott.
He is Excellent at Penalties
Great goalkeepers are expected to be good at saving penalties. Vincent Enyeama is a strange exception to that rule. Not only does he save them, he also scores them.
He was first-choice penalty taker for Hapoel Tel Aviv last season, scoring 8 spot kicks as his team romped to the league title in Israel. He has been instrumental in key victories for Nigeria at the Africa Cup of Nations, making key saves in penalty shootouts against Tunisia in 2006 and Zambia in 2010. He also scored a penalty in both games.
He is a Perfect Fit Until Wojciech Szczesny Comes of Age
Vincent is only 28, so he still has five or six good years ahead of him. As is, Wojciech Szczesny has been touted as the future first choice for Arsenal, but in Enyeama we have a ready-made answer until the young Pole is ready to challenge for the first team.
A good example can be found at Manchester City, who have the experienced Shay Given and the young and promising Joe Hart on their books.
One or two more seasons on loan for Szczesny and possibly Mannone could prepare them for the ardours of being the future first choice goalkeeper at Arsenal. Till then, Enyeama is perfect to fit into the role for the next few years and should they fail to live up to expectations, we'd still have at least one great goalkeeper.
He is Available
In 2009 it was reported that Arsenal were interested in Vincent Enyeama but baulked at the €2 million transfer fee after manager Arsene Wenger had watched Enyeama feature for Nigeria in the surprise win over France. Instead, Arsenal extended the contract of Lukasz Fabianski. We all know how that ended!
It is reported that Hapoel Tel Aviv have placed Vincent on the transfer list for €2 million, a fee certain to rise if he remains consistent at the ongoing World Cup in South Africa. Sources close to the player reveal that he is keen to move on after the World Cup.
Now is the time...Sign him up Arsene!