Arsenal Transfer News: Latest Wojciech Szczesny, Yassin Fortune Rumours

Gianni Verschueren@ReverschPassFeatured ColumnistMay 19, 2015

NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE, ENGLAND - MARCH 21: Wojciech Szczesny of Arsenal looks on in the warm up prior to the Barclays Premier League match between Newcastle United and Arsenal at St James' Park on March 21, 2015 in Newcastle upon Tyne, England.  (Photo by Matthew Lewis/Getty Images)
Matthew Lewis/Getty Images

Southampton are reportedly planning on making an offer to Arsenal for goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny, hoping to bring him to the club during the summer transfer window on a loan deal.

The Sun broke the story:

Mark Irwin of The Sun believes the Saints are eyeing the 25-year-old as a short-term replacement for Fraser Forster, who is expected to miss most of the upcoming 2015-16 season.

Ronald Koeman would prefer to have an experienced Premier League stopper to use in his absence, and Szczesny fits the mold.

The Poland international lost his starting position to David Ospina after a series of sub-par performances, culminating in a horrendous showing against Southampton on New Year's Day. The constant links to Chelsea's Petr Cech, per Sky Sports, indicate Szczesny's time at the Emirates may be coming to an end:

Even if Cech doesn't end up playing for the Gunners, the goalkeeper position is still in line for a major turnaround during the summer.

Sky Sports pundits Gary Neville and Jamie Carragher are convinced neither Szczesny nor Ospina is the answer:

If a new stopper should arrive, it makes sense that at least one of the duo would be sold. Ospina only arrived in north London last season, so Szczesny would be the logical candidate to depart the club.

A loan move seems highly unlikely, though. Szczesny is 25 years old and still has bags of potential as a starting stopper for another club. There's real value for Arsenal in a transfer, and Southampton would not be an ideal destination.

The Saints have a starter in Forster, who should slide back into the starting XI as soon as he returns to full fitness. Sure, it would be wonderful to have Szczesny fill in for the England international, but it makes little sense for the Gunners to agree to a loan deal.

Perhaps the Pole reinvents himself at St. Mary's and returns to the club as the star goalkeeper he could still become, but it's not likely. If Szczesny leaves the club during the summer, expect it to be on a permanent basis.

 

Gunners Reportedly Sign Yassin Fortune

Arsenal have reportedly signed French teenager Yassin Fortune from Lens for £3 million, according to France Football (h/t Mirror's Liam Corless).

Metro Sport hailed the 16-year-old midfielder as a “teen sensation,” but most fans had a slightly different reaction:

So who is Fortune? The French youth international is a versatile attacking midfielder who has some experience playing as a winger and striker.

Manchester United were reportedly interested in his services back in February, according to the Daily Mail's Simon Jones, and those rumours explain why the Gunners paid a relatively hefty transfer fee for a young, unknown player.

Fortune has potential and should make an impact for the club's youth team next season, joining a host of other talented youngsters including Gedion Zelalem and Daniel Crowley.

The 16-year-old is nowhere near close to making an impact for the senior side, but at some point neither were Hector Bellerin or Cesc Fabregas.

The Gunners have found success nurturing teenagers who showed plenty of promise abroad, and Fortune fits that template. The fee may be relatively steep, but the potential reward more than makes up for it.

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