Arsenal: Jens Lehmann Rejoins the Squad To Provide Cover for Manuel Almunia
Jens Lehmann, 41, has come out of retirement to join Arsenal on a short-term basis. According to Arsenal's official website, Lehmann's goal is to help the squad push for its first title in seven years and provide cover for Manuel Almunia, the only goalkeeper at Arsenal who is currently fit.
Lehmann is a familiar face at the Arsenal grounds. He was part of the famous “Invincible Squad," one of his biggest achievements in his five-year stay at the club. During this time, he also recorded 199 appearances and broke a few records—for consecutive clean sheets in the Champions League and 853 minutes without conceding a goal.
While the German goalkeeper has a reputation of being eccentric, shamelessly barking orders, he's also known for being a wonderful shot-stopper with good aerial ability.
“Jens Lehmann is a great short-term signing for us and will be a valuable asset during a crucial time of the season,” Wenger commented.
“Jens has kept himself very fit during this season and will provide a quality back up to Manuel Almunia. Jens knows the Club very well, is vastly experienced and will also be an extremely positive influence in the dressing room during his time with us.”
Lehmann, a hugely successful goalkeeper, has played in 61 matches and three World Cups with his national side, Germany. In addition, he has received the UEFA Goalkeeper of the Year award twice (1996-97 and 2004-05 seasons).
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The excitement surrounding the move seemed to be shared by Lehmann, too.
“I’m very excited to be rejoining Arsenal,” Lehmann said, “I have kept myself fit since the end of last season and I’m ready to contribute at any time for the team. “
“I have many great memories from my previous time at the Club, and Arsenal has always had a place in my heart. It’s special to be coming back. I can’t wait to start working with the team again, and I look forward to contributing as much as I can, both on and off the pitch during this time.”
One man who, undoubtedly, will not share the excitement of this transfer will be Manuel Almunia. He and Lehmann have been known for their history of disagreement in the past. To see him Lehmann his cover, breathing down his neck, will certainly make Almunia uncomfortable.
“Mad Jens," as he was called by fans, has already started training with the first squad and is available for the incoming Premier League game with West Bromwich Albion on Saturday.
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