Arsenal have been in dire need of a serious goalkeeping rumour,
after the former incumbent Artur Boruc
ended the tabloid's fun by signing a 3 and a half year deal with Celtic
(where he was already on loan). We hope that the rumour helped him add a
few quid to the wage packet, and thank Setanta for the revelation that
he took his gloves off to sign the deal. Maybe not just an 'X' then, I expect they call him "professor" in the changing room.|
Fortunately a man has come along who fits the bill for an Arsenal transfer rumour almost perfectly.
Not only is Chris Kirkland a goalkeeper, but also he had an exceptional
game for West Brom against Arsenal at the weekend. Naturally, therefore, we are going to
buy him in the transfer window. We probably never wanted that Scottish bloke anyway.
The "once and future" England keeper is currently
on loan at the Hawthorns from Liverpool, following the Merseyside club's signing of
two new keepers (Jose Reina and Scott Carson) earlier in the year. Kirkland's move
to Liverpool went all wrong for him die to injury and the inability of the coach to make a
decision between him and Dudek, but with the Baggies he's showing why everyone
raved about him a year ago.
Hmmm. The one big problem with this rumour is Kirkland's Englishness, but
we're prepared to overlook that for now.
Kirkland is probably glad to be playing now
rather than warming the bench of a bigger club, and it's unlikely that Wenger'd want
to disrupt things so much mid-season as would be risked by replacing Jens Lehmann
full-time at that point in time. So perhaps an end-of-season move is possible. Or maybe we could buy him
from Liverpool but let the Baggies hold onto him until the end of the season.
Bryan Robson is keen to get him to sign permanently but perhaps Kirkland wouldn't want to do that until
their Premiership future was secure for another year.
The only thing that's certain, is that Kirkland is going to be Arsenal keeper-in-waiting, until
the next one comes along.
But seriously, I still don't reckon that Wenger is as desperate to sign a keeper
as some would have us think. Phrases such as "Wenger is still on the lookout for a top class stopper, with Jens Lehmann and Manuel Almunia not considered long-term options for the club"
are an insult to "mad Jens". Lehmann has looked pretty solid for a good while now and
personally I use that nickname only with affection these days (that and his scary starey eyes of course), and the same goes for "Lemon".
Jens hasn't lost his rag for ages and last night's
little excursion was the first time he'd gone dangerously walkabout for
nearly as long.