Arsenal appointed Mikel Arteta as our new boss in December 2019 and the Spaniard brought Albert Stuivenberg, Steve Round and Inaki Cana Pavon to the club as his assistants. (Arsenal.com)
The latter, who was previously at Brentford, is our chief goalkeeping coach and he came in with a huge reputation. He was claimed to be one of the best in his role in the world, but his time at Arsenal hasn’t really gone smoothly.
A shock report from Football Insider claimed earlier this year that Bernd Leno had refused to train with Cana and had complained to the club about him. That claim wasn’t backed up and the German continued to work with him until the end of the season.
The conflict between Leno and Cana may not be true, but the Arsenal goalkeeping coach has made two big mistakes at the club already, and if latest reports are to be believed, he’s about to make another one.
Inaki Cana Pavon: First mistake
Cana took over from Sal Bibbo to become our head goalkeeping coach last year and he had a really tough decision to make straightaway. The Spaniard had to decide who to retain at Arsenal – Bernd Leno or Emiliano Martinez.
Leno is Arsenal’s undisputed number one and he has saved us on multiple occasions. However, an injury against Brighton last year ruled him out for a few weeks, and that opened the door for Martinez to come in.
The Argentine quickly made a name for himself as one of the best goalkeepers in the country. He was absolutely outstanding for us and without him, Arsenal probably wouldn’t have won the FA Cup and the Community Shield.
Both goalkeepers wanted to be the first choice at Arsenal and they had every right to demand that role. Arteta and Cana had a tough decision to make, and they decided to keep their faith in Leno, and they sold Martinez to Aston Villa.
Almost a year down the line, it is proving to be a mistake. Leno is a fantastic keeper and he is undoubtedly one of the best in the league. However, Martinez, based on what he has shown over the last year, might just be the better goalkeeper.
Inaki Cana Pavon: Second mistake
After getting rid of Martinez, Arsenal had to bring in a quality replacement. A number of experienced options were linked last summer, but Arteta decided to sign Runar Alex Runarsson based on Cana’s recommendation.
Cana worked with the Iceland international at FC Nordsjaelland and he saw something in him that made him believe that he was the one. Almost a year later now, it’s clear that Runarsson is nowhere near good enough to play for a top club.
The 26-year-old is now on the verge of leaving Arsenal. He is set to join Turkish side Altay SK, according to The Mirror, and that will end what has been a torrid 12 months for him in North London.
Is Cana about to make another mistake at Arsenal?
With Runarsson set to leave and Maty Ryan not coming back, Arsenal are on the lookout for a new goalkeeper. The Gunners need someone who is good enough to fight with Leno every week, but Cana’s reported target hasn’t really convinced Arsenal fans.
The Sun revealed a couple of weeks ago that Arsenal are interested in Sheffield United star Aaron Ramsdale. The relegated Englishman is reportedly our number one goalkeeper target now, and that has baffled many supporters.
Arsenal have been linked with a world-class goalkeeper in Andre Onana and the Ajax star will be available for less than a third of what the Blades want for Ramsdale. He would be absolutely perfect, but it’s unclear why the Gunners are so keen on the Sheffield United man instead.
Cana’s history at Arsenal hasn’t been great and Onana would be the signing that would help fans forget about his previous errors. However, if he pushes Arteta to sign a more expensive Ramsdale instead, it could prove to be his worst mistake yet.