This morning David Ornstein reported in The Athletic (£) that Arsenal were looking to send Alex Runarsson on loan in January.
The Icelandic international has made five appearances since his somewhat surprise move from Dijon towards the end of the last window, but looked particularly shaky in the EFL cup tie against Man City.
It raised serious questions about his capacity to provide adequate cover for Bernd Leno, and as last season showed, when the German got injured having quality back-up in the shape of Emi Martinez proved vital to our FA Cup success.
The fact that the Argentine departed for Aston Villa, and the complexity of the window itself, left the Gunners unable to do the kind of business they wanted, and it seems that Runarsson was very much a last-ditch option.
It’s something Arteta appears keen to address, saying, “We are assessing the situation with the three positions on the goalkeeping area and we will find a different solution, probably in this window.
“The discussion we had in the summer within the club are a little bit different to what actually happened because of the transfer window and the situation that developed with Emi.
“We didn’t have much time to do what we really wanted to do and we decided to assess the situation in this window which is what we are trying to do and we will make a decision on how we want to move forward in those three positions.”
Brentford’s David Raya was the first option, but the Championship side were unwilling to do business then. It seems unlikely they’ll sell in January either.
He remains high on the agenda, but in the short-term an experienced loan signing might provide more reassurance, while young keepers Karl Hein or Arthur Okonkwo – who has recently joined the first team training sessions following the departure of Matt Macey – can provide third choice cover.
“There is nothing there yet,” said the manager of a loan move for Runarsson, but even if he doesn’t go, the club are expected to pursue a goalkeeping signing of some description before the end of the month.