Arsenal are expected to complete the signing of Icelandic goalkeeper Runar Alex Runarsson over the weekend, paying Dijon around £1.5m for the 25 year old.
Over the last couple of weeks, we’ve also been linked very heavily with Brentford stopper David Raya. The common denominator? Goalkeeping coach Inaki Cana Pavon.
He worked with Raya at Brentford before he joined Arsenal as part of Mikel Arteta’s staff in December, and his connection with Runarsson goes back to his days at Danish side FC Nordsjaelland.
His input into our transfer targets is something Arteta spoke about yesterday, and although he made it clear he has the final decision as to who comes in, he is open to listening to his coaches and leaning on their expertise.
“At the end of the day I bring in staff with very special qualities to add to what we are trying to do,” said the Arsenal boss.
“And then I have to give them responsibility because I want them to be accountable for the tasks that I give to them and the clear roles that I have give to them.
“When it comes down to the goalkeeper, he has a big say on how we are going to implement our methodology, how we are going to train them and how we are going to treat the goalkeeping position in the short, medium and long term
“Obviously at the end it will be me who makes the decision. But is very important that the people around me, who have on many occasions a much clearer criteria and specificity than me, that I really listen to them and try to follow what their feelings are.
“I have big faith in Inaki as I do with the rest of the staff that are here. I will take that into the medical department, with the physios, the kit man, every department that is here.
“They have much more expertise than me. I want to control them, I want to make sure that they share their values and direction we want to take.”
There’s certainly nothing wrong in listening to people who have knowledge and experience, and it will be interesting to see how it works out with Runarsson who will arrive in England on the back of a disappointing time in France. It might simply be that he was at the wrong club, in the wrong environment, but his move to Arsenal will be primarily down to his relationship with our goalkeeping coach and his advocacy of him, rather than his outstanding performances when he played.
That places a question mark over him from the start, but let’s hope it’s one he can answer.