Wenger wants to bring giant keeper to the Emirates.
ARSENE WENGER is monitoring Ajax goalkeeper Maarten Stekelenburg, putting Manuel Almunia’s Arsenal future further in doubt.
The Dutch goalkeeper was pivotal in his country’s run to the World Cup final and has been at Ajax since 2001.
Although Ajax have been boosted by Martin Jol’s snub to Fulham, the former Tottenham boss has been told he will have to sell players if he wants to strengthen his squad.
Luis Suarez, Ajax’s most saleable asset, looks set to stay at the club after Jol’s decision to stay on as manager as the pair enjoy a good relationship but other stars will have to be moved on.
Goalkeeper Stekelenburg has attracted Wenger’s interest and the Arsenal manager is now weighing up a bid.
Wenger claimed he does not have a number one choice as goalkeeper, with Almunia and Lukasz Fabianski failing to command his confidence.
Stekelenburg would be available for around £4m and at 27 would represent a more viable long-term option than Wenger’s other target, Fulham’s 37-year-old Mark Schwarzer. (News of the World)
It seems that opinion is split in terms of the abilities the towering Dutch international does or does not possess. Some believe he is average at best and is by no means a safe pair of hands and others who feel that he has shown what he is capable of both at national and club level.
During the World Cup the 27 year old conceded six goals in seven games, two of which were penalties, so on those purely statistical terms Stekelenburg can surely be considered a success. He isn’t as sound as he could be on balls coming into the box, which is odd given his 6ft 5in frame.
He would surely be a better option than either Manuel Almunia and Lukasz Fabianski and if he could indeed be snapped up for just £4m then surely that represents far better value than paying a similar fee for Mark Schwarzer who is 10 years his senior.