Emiliano Viviano says it’s a dream to be part of the Arsenal set-up and believes the friendship building between the club’s goalkeepers is breeding a team within a team.
The Italian international, who moved to North London on transfer deadline day from Palermo following an eye-catching season at Fiorentina, hasn’t yet featured in the first team but despite his lack of match action explained that he’s enjoying life in England.
“I knew for about a month that Arsenal wanted me,” Viviano told the Arsenal Magazine. “They had the choice of me and some other good keepers though – and I’m so happy the final decision was an Italian!
“Now that I’m here, it feels great. It’s a dream for me. I’m proud to be here and I want to say thank you to the boss for making it possible. Now it is important that I work hard every day to show my quality.
“I know a lot of things about the Premier League because I love the English way of thinking about football and sports. It is different – every team seems to have a full stadium, whether it is a small club or a small city.
“Of course I have seen a lot of Arsenal and its players too. This is a good team with fantastic training facilities, some of the best in Europe, and a lot of passion.”
Currently third in the pecking order behind in-form Wojciech Szczesny and a revitalised Lukasz Fabianski, the 27-year-old also underlined that strength in numbers can only be positive for the team.
“I know Fabianski was a little unlucky with injuries last year and I’ve seen Szczesny play a lot and he is a great goalkeeper. I will work hard with them both to compete, and consider it a good thing that we have other goalkeepers of such quality here.
“It is a positive fight. We will be at work together every day and I am sure there will be great friendship. We will help each other and, with the goalkeeping coaches, be a team of our own.”
Unless there are injuries it’s hard to see Viviano getting much game time in the coming months. His biggest hope is probably for a run out or two in the Capital One Cup but he seems like a level-headed chap and one who could be playing the long game.
Arsenal have an option to buy him permanently next summer and with Fabianski likely to leave the club on a free when his contract is up he could well be around for a while longer. At 27 he still has his best years ahead and with international experience already under his belt he’ll no doubt want to be part of the clamour to replace Buffon when the legendary 35-year-old finally steps down from Azzurri duty.