x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Wenger admits keeper woes

Arsene Wenger will make an announcement on the goalkeeping situation at Arsenal after the World Cup after expressing concern at the mental fragility of Manuel Almunia, the current No 1.

Manuel Almunia's errors have proved costly for Arsenal and the English club may be considering other options ahead of the season.
Manuel Almunia's errors have proved costly for Arsenal and the English club may be considering other options ahead of the season.

Arsene Wenger will make an announcement on the goalkeeping situation at Arsenal after the World Cup after expressing concern at the mental fragility of Manuel Almunia, the current No 1. The Gunners' vulnerability between the sticks came under the spotlight last season with both Almunia, the Spaniard, and Lukasz Fabianski, his Polish deputy, prone to the high-profile error.

Both Fulham's Mark Schwarzer and Eduardo, the Portugal international - who was yesterday signed by Genoa, the Italian side - had been mentioned as potential targets for the Arsenal manager. Speaking to the Kenyan newspaper The Standard, Wenger said: "Manuel Almunia is a talented goalkeeper. In training, he is superb. The only problem is that he gets nervous on big matches, thereby making silly mistakes. After the World Cup, we will be making an announcement.""

Wenger already has strengthened his squad this summer with the arrivals of Marouane Chamakh, the Morocco striker, and Laurent Koscielny, the French centre-back. Wenger said the signing of Koscielny was not the end of his moves in the market for a defender. Milan Jovanovic, the Serbia forward, has finally completed his long-awaited move to Liverpool after signing a three-year contract. Jovanovic, 29, was a free agent after his deal with Standard Liege, the Belgian club, expired at the end of the season and the move was lined by up Rafa Benitez, the former manager, before his departure at the start of June.

The move was sealed despite suggestions that Benitez, now manager of Inter Milan, tried to launch a last-minute bid to hijack the deal. Jovanovic can play up front or on the wing and could provide much-needed support for Fernando Torres, the striker, or fill a gap left by Yossi Benayoun's transfer to Chelsea. "It is an honour for me to sign for one of the biggest clubs in football," he said. * PA