Monday, June 24, 2024

Iliev has chance to be Arsenal’s third-choice goalkeeper

Deyan Iliev will turn 25 during the 2019/20 season so it is surely time for his future to be resolved.

The goalkeeper, who has been called up by North Macedonia at senior level, is one of Arsenal’s longest serving players, having joined the club in 2012.

Iliev has been named on the bench for the first-team on several occasions, including for the Europa League final against Chelsea, but has yet to feature for the senior side.

That could well change this campaign as there appears a good chance that Iliev could finally be officially promoted to the senior squad.

With Bernd Leno as first choice, Emiliano Martinez as backup and David Ospina set to leave, there is a space in the first-team squad for an extra goalkeeper.

There is a possibility that the club could bring in a veteran shot-stopper for a season, but Unai Emery has been impressed by Iliev’s displays in training.

Last season Iliev was again the first-choice goalkeeper for Arsenal at U23 level, but, despite making some impressive stops, his overall performances were far from convincing, with his kicking leaving a lot to be desired.

However, Iliev is still rated very highly by the club and his relative experience could give him the edge over Arthur Okonkwo, who is extremely talented but is just 17 years old so may not be ready to step up to the first-team just yet.

It isn’t guaranteed that Iliev will be retained this summer but he certainly has an opportunity to achieve his long-standing aim of getting into the first-team squad.

Iliev is currently on holiday with Krystian Bielik, another Arsenal player whose future at the club is uncertain.

When Iliev returns to London Colney it will certainly be interesting to see what the club has in store for him.

Jeorge Bird is the author of Follow him on Twitter @jeorgebird

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Anyone remember when Wenger told us that Emiliano Martinez was “the future of the club”?

That seems somewhat at odds with how he’s been treated.


I don’t think we sre going to buy quality players on this window ;-(

Wilsheres Middle Finger

To be fair, he’s one of the few from that time still at the club so he wasn’t talking complete nonsence. Maybe just in reference to his talent. ?

Cygans Parting

So he’s nearly 25 (but until then remains 24) and his his kicking is terrible. He must be some shot stopper for Emery to even consider keeping him around. Surely project youth is is all about young and talented players like Authur Okonkwo. Yes he maybe 17 but if he’s good enough then he should be shown a path to the first team. Iker Casillias was playing regularly for Real Madrid at 18. Why shouldn’t he be given an opportunity to be our 3rd choice keeper. I realize that Iliev has had major injury troubles and was out for the… Read more »


The “Player is X years old next birthday, but until then remains X-1 years (because that is how it works)” comment is tired and not even amusing to begin with.


It amuses me though


“Iliev is still rated very highly by the club.” I’d hate to see what would happen to him if he weren’t rated.


Well Martinez and him can compete for the second keeper role, does not necessarily mean he has to be automatically third choice.


And here I was swearing black and blue that Iliev had to be the automatic third choice. Nothing gets past you.

You might not be the sharpest tool in the shed, but you’re a tool nonetheless.


He’s an unbe-Iliev-able goalkeeper.


Stahhhhp it

Naked Cygan

Lucky for him, he can be the next Martinez for the next 10 years. Run boy, run and enjoy your career somewhere else.

Dave Cee

North Macedonia? Is there a South Macedonia??


Greece was in a decades-long dispute with Macedonia over the name because they claimed that they had a territory called Macedonia themselves and the fact that the country Macedonia has the same name represents a claim over that territory. This dispute prevented Macedonia from entering the EU or NATO. So, there was a referendum, Parliamentary vote, etc in Macedonia last year which led them to change their name to North Macedonia.


Why would we want a 25 yr old with no first team experience anywhere to be our third choice gk?


Simply because we don’t have money to spend on a new goalkeeper. I’ll keep banging the drum for keeping Ospina though; he had a decent Copa America, keeping 3 clean sheets in 3 games, he’s experienced at top level, and we wouldn’t get more than 3 million selling him anyway. Imagine going into the new season with Martinez and Iliev as back up, and Leno broke a leg on the first day of the season; it’ll be season over already.



I think its time we give some of our Academy keepers a chance. Martinez and Iliev neither young anymore.


Plus we also have Macey to consider at 24yrs.


Macey is utter garbage; lost his place at Plymouth Argyle when they were bottom in League One. It’s not outrageous to expect that a club the size and stature of Arsenal have two goalkeepers experienced in European level football. I’d even take the 63 year old Buffon on a free transfer instead of risking Martinez and Iliev if Leno picked up a long term injury.

Faisal Narrage aka Mr. Project Youth 2.0

I’m not a fan of the use of calling an arsenal academy prospect “utter garbage”.

I agree, he’s not good enough and should be released, but no need for the strongly emotive word and an extreme to call him “utter garbage”.


Hopefully we can move on Ospina for a bit of money. 5-7m good enough.

If we add to Ozil or Mhki (for 10m say), Mustafi or Chambers (for 18m) + Elneny and Jenkinson (1-2m)

That’s about 35m to add on to our paltry 40m budget.

Will add winger 30m, Cback 22m, CM 10m, maybe a young striker 5m plus some spare for contract improvements.

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