Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta has a difficult decision to make. Bernd Leno is our undisputed first-choice goalkeeper, but the German will miss the game this weekend after his red card against Wolves last night.
Alex Runarsson came on for the last 20 minutes and made a couple of decent saves. However, he did show once again that he panics under pressure, and he cannot be relied upon in a top-level Premier League game.
Arteta knew Arsenal would end up in a very difficult position if Leno was to miss a game. As a result, the Gunners boss brought in Maty Ryan from Brighton to provide cover until the end of the season, but the Aussie international is currently injured.
Arsenal’s medical staff revealed on Monday that Ryan is nursing a hip injury. Arteta was asked about the same, and he, like everyone else, is hopeful to see his new goalkeeper return before our game this weekend.
He said, as per Arsenal.com: “He (Ryan) had a muscular issue and in the last two days he hasn’t been able to train. Hopefully we can get him back in the next few days.”
Arsenal Insider’s view
If Ryan isn’t fit for the game on Saturday, Arsenal will be in big trouble. Runarsson clearly isn’t good enough to handle the pressure that comes with a top club, and his performance against Manchester City in the EFL Cup showed exactly that.
Arsenal take on Aston Villa on Saturday and Dean Smith’s side have been really dangerous this term.
They hammered us 3-0 at the Emirates earlier in the season, and without a good enough keeper between our sticks, history could well repeat itself.
Arsenal could do with Emi Martinez now but the Argentine will play against us on Saturday. He showed last season how important it is to have a quality backup in goal, and Arteta and co might find that out the hard way this weekend.