Arsenal Have the Chance To Sign Mark Schwarzer: Should They Take It?
Mark Schwarzer has come out and commented on the non-transfer of the summer, and made an honest plea to his club, Fulham to sell him to Arsenal in January. Speaking ahead of the Australia vs. Paraguay match, he stated unambiguously that "If there's an opportunity in January then we'll explore it." The 37 year old goalkeeper’s contract runs out in June, and it would be beneficial to Fulham to sell him in January rather than losing him in the summer for nothing.
He told the media, “I'm almost 38 and I want to fulfill an ambition. The sheer opportunity that was there - that was very flattering.” However he referred to the disappointment that had followed the transfer window closing with him still playing for Fulham: “… sometimes you've just got to grin and bear it and just get on with normal life again as much as possible. You just have to get your head down and work as hard as possible. It can affect your day-to-day life, and ultimately I am judged on how I perform week in, week out. If that performance drops, then no club is going to be interested in me.”
If indeed the deal does go ahead, the question Arsene Wenger will then have to ask himself is “What do I do with five first team goalkeepers?” It seems hugely unlikely that Manuel Almunia would accept sitting on the substitute bench, and so he would have to be sold. Fulham would also be without a goalkeeper, and perhaps a deal can be arranged here. While they may not want Almunia necessarily – although his performances have improved this season – a loan deal similar to the Laurent Koscielny signing – where Francis Coquelin headed to Lorient for a year. Arsenal have three fine young goalkeepers in Lukasz Fabianski, Vito Mannone and Wojciech Szczęsny either of them would benefit massively from staying on loan at Fulham for six months.
What is more likely, is that he will sign in the summer for nothing, unless Fulham decrease their valuation to a pittance, or Almunia and Fabianski play awfully or the next two and a half months.
Is Schwarzer the kind of player Arsenal should be trying to sign? Yes he may be able to bring some security in-between the sticks at Arsenal, but at 37 he is far from a long term solution. And if he is Arsenal's only January signing, although he's said it doesn't apply to goalkeepers, could one argue that Wenger is seeing the errors in his indiscretion towards players over 30?
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