Date: 17th May 2017 at 8:32pm
Written by:

Arsenal were thwarted by Jordan Pickford, 23, on numerous occasions on Tuesday but Arsene Wenger has played down any interest in signing the Sunderland keeper this summer.

Pickford, one of the few highlights for Sunderland in an otherwise miserable relegation campaign, will almost certainly attract interest from Premier League clubs at the end of the season and gained Wenger’s praise too.

Wenger was quoted by the Standard: ‘Pickford had an exceptional night. I think we had 36 shots at goal, the highest in the Premier League. The keeper saved 11 of them, so he did extremely well, but we have plenty of goalkeepers.’

But with Petr Cech and David Ospina in place, the potential return of Wojciech Szczesny from Roma too, along with Damian Martinez, Wenger feels he’s got enough options.

Adding: ‘We have Petr Cech, Ospina, we have Wojciech Szczesny who is only on loan at Roma and has had an exceptional season. We [also] have Damian Martinez. If there is one thing we do not need to buy, it is a goalkeeper.’

Szczesny, who has spent the past two seasons at Roma, technically remains an Arsenal player and is scheduled to return to North London at the end of the season.

Enjoying regular first team football at the Italian club, Polish international Szczesny insists he’s happy in Rome and wouldn’t be against a permanent deal at the Serie A club, but isn’t ruling out an Arsenal future as he would love to play for the Gunners again.

He told BT Sport: ‘Staying at Roma? I’m happy here. I feel I’ve grown as a goalkeeper but for me, the time to make a decision will come in the summer. For now, I’m an Arsenal player, as soon as my loan finishes, I have to come back. I’ve always said I’d love to be back there. Like I said, what will happen definitely won’t be decided now but in a month or two months’ time.’

Wenger – assuming he remains in charge – might have to reassess his thoughts on Ospina though as he’s made it clear he doesn’t plan to be at Arsenal next season himself.

Ospina, 28, who has been linked with Turkish club Fenerbahce recently, revealed he’s informed the hierarchy at the Emirates Stadium he needs to play, managing just 48 appearances since joining the Gunners, suggesting Turkey will be his destination.

He told Fanatik, via the Daily Express: ‘I told my club [Arsenal] that I want to go to a team where I’ll play regularly. They know my intention. If the right offer comes, then I’ll happily come to Turkey.’

But Colombian keeper Ospina insisted he wasn’t unhappy at Arsenal as such and the club understood his stance.

Adding: ‘My agent is taking care of transfer business. In fact, I’m happy at Arsenal but I have to play regularly. I told them exactly that. Arsenal’s board told me they will not be making things difficult for me if the right offer comes in. Let’s see what the future brings.’

Join The Vital Debate