Why This £63m German Superstar Is The Right Man To Replace Arsenal’s Veteran At The Emirates

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The winter transfer window is still a couple of months away and the transfer mill is already full of flavorous rumours. One such news is being circulated by several outlets: As per reports from Spanish sports magazine Don Balon, Arsenal are plotting an audacious move for Barcelona custodian Marc-André ter Stegen who has earned a regular status for the Spanish heavyweights since Claudio Bravo’s departure in summer 2016. He has already lifted the La Liga title twice along with the prestigious UEFA Champions League trophy back in 2015.

The 25-year-old Germany international completed a move from Bundesliga outfit Borussia Monchengladbach back in the summer of 2014. He was acquired for the future and was preferred in cup games as well as Champions League outings by the then Barca boss Luis Enrique. Soon he established himself as a first-team regular and has started in all of their La Liga and Champions League fixtures so far this campaign ahead of Dutch goalkeeper Jasper Cillessen. Although he has been Manuel Neuer’s deputy for Die Mannschaft, ter Stegen has represented his country in their 2017 Confederations Cup triumph and also in 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifying fixtures due to Neuer’s lengthy injury absence. He has a buy-out clause of £63m in his contract and Arsene Wenger, the Gunners boss, is planning to trigger it in order to find veteran Petr Cech’s replacement.

Cech, now 35, doesn’t have a long-term future ahead of him and David Ospina has been far from convincing as the ex-Chelsea star’s deputy, despite having his opportunities to prove the worth. Wenger was forced to sell Wojciech Szczęsny to Serie A champions Juventus this season following his couple of impressive loan spells with AS Roma. The Polish custodian is viewed as a long-term successor of Azzurri legend Gianluigi Buffon and is enjoying his game-time with the bianconeri. His egress from Arsenal occurred due to the arrival of Petr Cech who was preferred over him for obvious reasons. Szczesny needed regular minutes to work on his limitations and the loan spell helped him to flourish in Serie A football.

The former Czech Republic international is still capable of competing at the highest level but mostly has a couple of years left in him. Thus, a move for ter Stegen makes sense as he is still young and will have his chances to experience the excitement Premier League football of very highest calibre. He has great reflexes, closes down quickly and is regarded for his shot-stopping attributes. But his outing looks vulnerable at times, which endangers his positioning while dealing with crosses. Cech is still excellent with his reflexes and is majestic while saving close-range strikes. He has been error-prone at times but his experience and quality have made him one of the finest ever in this sport. The German keeper, on the other hand, is 10 years younger than the iconic Gunners custodian and has plenty of time to sort out his limitations.

Ter Stegen, however, remains unbaffled and doesn’t wish to ply his trade in London this early. Barcelona, too, are desperate to keep hold of him and the player himself is believed to turn down the Gunners’ approach even if they trigger his release clause. Arsenal are currently competing in Europa League following their failure to achieve a ‘top four’ finish and the North Londoners now need to reconquer their lost throne to acquire top-notch talents.

Pratyay Maitra

A sports enthusiast and football fanatic.

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