Mikel Arteta wants Arsenal to sign Athletic Bilbao goalkeeper Unai Simon amid Bernd Leno’s inconsistent form, according to reports.
Arsenal decided to stick with Leno when they faced a goalkeeper dilemma last summer. Emiliano Martinez had stepped into his role towards the end of the season and had impressed. However, Arsenal chose to sell Martinez to Aston Villa and trusted Leno on his return from injury.
They may now regret this decision. Martinez was one of the Premier League’s best goalkeepers with Villa but Leno suffered inconsistently.
The last German blunder came in their loss to Everton Friday, essentially offering the points to their opponents. This raised further questions about his qualifications in the number one role.
The situation has since developed and according to The reason, Arteta wants a new keeper. Athletic shooter Simon is the man he identified as the solution.
Simon has made his way into Spain’s account recently thanks to his good La Liga form. It’s only his second season as a regular first-team player at San Mames, but he’s already more than comfortable.
The 23-year-old could therefore win a start if his form continues. Fellow Arteta wants Arsenal to take advantage.
Simon remains under contract in the Basque Country until 2025. However, Athletic is aware that he could capitalize on his potential by adding him to the talent conveyor belt they have sold over the years.
Athletic still operates with a Basque-only policy when recruiting players, which limits their options. But they’ve already found someone who fits their criteria to replace Simon, as they could try to re-sign their former youth product, Aitor Fernandez, now 29.
It looks like they are preparing for Simon’s departure and that could be good news for Arsenal. However, they aren’t the only team watching the six-cap Spaniard.
According to The reason, West Ham is also keeping an eye on Simon as they look to rebuild their goaltending department.
Former Arsenal goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski has pledged his future for next season, but he is one of three West Ham goalkeepers who are all in their 30s. At some point, they’ll need another long-term option.
Simon could provide them with what they need for years to come if they can convince him.
Bundesliga giants Borussia Dortmund and Ligue 1 challengers Monaco also feature in Simon’s chase pack.
Simon was linked to Manchester City recently as potential competition for Ederson. But The reason don’t mention them as a suitor and it looks like he would rather move somewhere else to be the undisputed first choice.
Arsenal backed to sign Ryan
In addition to the first-choice goalkeeper, the identity of Arsenal’s replacement in that post for next season is unclear.
They signed Runar Alex Runarsson to replace Martinez, but were disappointed with his performance. This prompted them to seek out Brighton’s Mat Ryan on loan in January.
Ryan had a few more opportunities and was quite comfortable in the role. Therefore, an expert told them that they should definitely sign it in the summer.
“I think it’s really smart,” former Gunners forward Kevin Campbell said of the news they could sign Ryan for between £ 3-5million.
“Mat Ryan likes it at Arsenal and they liked having him at the club. He’s an Arsenal fan, so he also has that love for the club.
“If we can get it for £ 4million, it’s cheap money. Let’s be honest, £ 4million is nothing these days. “
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