With the retirement of Petir Cech, Arsenal have lost a decent backup option for the spot between the posts. With David Ospina unlikely to return to north London, the club have been linked with Thomas Strakosha of Lazio, but would apparently face stiff competition in the form of fierce rivals Tottenham Hotspur for the Albania international.
Be that as it may, the fact is that Bernd Leno remains the undisputed No.1 at the moment. As glorious as it may sound from the perspective of the German, it’s not a very healthy thing for a club competing on four fronts every season.
Strakosha is no doubt a good goalkeeper, and perhaps the €45 million quoted as the sum demanded by Lazio isn’t too great given the figures going around today’s transfer market. However, there may be a cheaper, more familiar option in Jack Butland of Stoke City.
Butland started out at Birmingham City, and having spent time on loan with Cheltenham Town, he joined Stoke in 2013. The first 18 months there were also spent on loan, with Barnsley, Leeds United and Derby County, and then he established himself as the Potters’ No.1. His fine performances have earned him an England call-up when he was very young, and his debut on August 15th, 2012, made him the youngest goalkeeper to feature for the national team ever with 19 years and 158 days of age.
Having been capped nine times for England, Butland is desperate to return to the Premier League to improve his chances of swimming in international waters again.
There will certainly be teams ready to offer him that chance, but Arsenal are likely to hold a big advantage over most of them, being able to offer European football.
Given that he is trying to find his way back up from the Championship, the fee Arsenal would need to pay would likely be much less than his actual worth. Stoke have apparently already secured a replacement in the form of Adam Davies, who is set to arrive there on a free transfer after his contract with Barnsley expires in less than a fortnight.