Now in his fourth season at Arsenal, Matt Macey has had to work extremely hard to get to his current stage, but the 23-year-old will be wary that there is still some way to go if he to achieve his ultimate aim of being the club’s first-choice shot-stopper.
Via loan spells at Accrington Stanley and Luton Town, as well as many appearances for Arsenal at youth level and involvement in first-team training sessions, Macey has improved significantly since joining the club.
Arsenal have certainly recognised his development as it was announced this week that he has signed a new deal – a clear sign that he is likely to become increasingly involved with the senior squad in due course.
After years of waiting, Macey finally made his competitive Arsenal first-team debut in the Carabao Cup tie against Norwich City in October and followed that impressive display up by keeping a clean sheet in the Europa League game at home to Red Star Belgrade.
Macey is a much more reliable presence in goal than he was previously and he has also become increasingly vocal in terms of issuing instructions to his team-mates.
Although David Ospina and Emiliano Martinez (who has yet to make a league appearance on loan at Getafe) are still ahead of him as back-up to Petr Cech, Macey will hope to officially become part of the first-team squad in due course.
There is a possibility that he could head out on loan again, perhaps in January, and playing regularly for a League One club would be hugely beneficial for him especially as first-team opportunities at Arsenal are likely to be limited, with Ospina set to play in the remaining Europa League games.
Macey still has some aspects of his game which require improvement, including his distribution, while he can also struggle when placed under sustained pressure, but he has made significant strides and deserves much credit just for getting to this point.
Arsenal have several other young goalkeepers on their books at U23 level, including Deyan Iliev, Ryan Huddart and Hugo Keto, but if Macey continues to progress then it will be difficult for any of them to get a look in with regards to the first-team.
Jeorge Bird is the author of www.arsenalyouth.wordpress.com Follow him on Twitter @jeorgebird
what Ive seen of him , he will be a top keeper when Pete calls it a day
How hard is it to make it as a goalkeeper at this level!
Ospina will go this summer, I like the guy and he is a good shot stopper but I never feel comfortable when he is between the sticks.
Hopefully Emi and Matt can deliver enough to provide back up to Cech going forward
Between Huddart, Martinez, and Macey, I feel like we have at least one first team quality keeper for the future.
Emi hasn’t got an appearance?? Wow, that’s really not working.
perplexes me that the club sends players out on loan to clubs they still won’t play at, might as well have them do their training with us.
Same thing with gnabry a few years ago look how that ended up.
I imagine they expected him to play and I guess they always need to try and find the balance between sending to a club where they are guaranteed a start but level isn’t high enough, and sending to a club at a high standard where the player will need to prove their worth.
Ultimately, sad as it may be, if he is unable to secure a start there it is maybe indicative of him not being good enough to make the grade at Arsenal.
Fair point, but look how Watford treated Bellerin and where he is now.
I must say we need to focus on a world class successor of Cech, these guys are championship level at best, Huddart not even there..