Wenger's Worries: Is Mark Schwarzer Really the Answer to Arsenal's Problems?

Saura BhattacharjeeAnalyst IAugust 31, 2010

Fulham Goalie Mark Schwarzer
Fulham Goalie Mark SchwarzerChristof Koepsel/Getty Images

It has been reported that Arsenal have launched a last-minute bid for Fulham's Australian goalie Mark Schwarzer worth £4 million.

The Emirates outfit are in trouble regarding their man under the post as both their shot-stoppers Fabianski and Almunia have proved to be error-prone.

After last season's dismal display it was highly predicted that Wenger would be looking for a quality goalkeeper. But though the club had been linked to a number of top-class goalkeepers all through the transfer window, Wenger seemed to have a blind eye on the goalkeeping issue.

He signed a few players, being young and cheap as is his policy, like Marouane Chamakh and Laurent Koscielny to bolster his squad. But regarding a goalkeeper he seemed indifferent. It was thought that he would keep his faith on his two error-prone goalies.

But with the last minute effort to sign Schwarzer it seems he has finally realised the need for a top-quality goalkeeper.

The 37-year-old Fulham goalie might even join the North Londoners before the transfer window comes to a close late today, but would that really be a nice bargain for the miserly Wenger?

The 6'4" Australian goalkeeper rose to prominence in his former club Middlesborough and after 11 years at the Teesside club arrived at Craven Cottage in 2008. In his first year at the club, he won the Fulham Player of the Year 2008-09 award for his outstanding contributions for the Cottagers.

His superb displays against Chelsea, Manchester United, and Arsenal sealed victories for his club. The impressive Australian continued his superb form into the next season as he played a key role in Fulham's dream run to the European League Cup 2010 finals where they lost to Spanish club Athletico Madrid. He also won the EPL Player of the Month award in February 2010.

The Australian national team goalkeeper's good show garnered interest from Arsenal boss Wenger. The French manager reportedly had a bid of £3.5 million rejected earlier in the transfer window. It has now been revealed that Wenger had given up his chance to sign Schwarzer on a free transfer two years ago as he chose to sign the Polish Lukasz Fabianski in favour of Schwarzer.

Wenger's last minute attempt to sign the 37-year-old may succeed, but will it be worth the effort. Schwarzer is already 37 and has only a couple more years left in his career. With both of Arsenal's goalkeeper's performances coming under criticism Wenger needed someone who was young and talented.

With a nice transfer kitty to make good signings, Wenger could have easily signed a world-class young goalkeeper. Even if Schwarzer arrives he can only be a makeshift arrangement for Arsenal's troubles.

Moreover, his age should be taken into consideration. At 37 years he will surely have fitness troubles playing for a top European club. With both Almunia and Fabianski looking unimpressive Wenger might face the same troubles as past season if Schwarzer gets out injured.

Schwarzer's move to the Emirates has been thrown into doubt after Manchester City's Shay Given opted to stay at the Eastlands. With the Fulham manager not too willing to part with his first choice goalie without a good replacement, it seems Arsenal are set to suffer another season with their error-prone and not-so-good goalkeepers.