Arsenal have announced their fifth signing of the summer, confirming the arrival of Icelandic goalkeeper Runar Alex Runarsson.
Runar Alex Runarsson Joins Arsenal
New club. New country. New number.
Alex Runarsson. Our No 13 🤝 pic.twitter.com/gqLydIHQvL
— Arsenal (@Arsenal) September 21, 2020
Second-Choice to Bernd Leno
The Icelandic will provide valuable competition to Arsenal’s first-choice goalkeeper Bernd Leno.
Mikel Arteta has been searching for a second-choice goalkeeper for much of the summer. Former Arsenal ‘keeper Emiliano Martinez made it clear earlier in the window that he wanted first-team football and if he could not get it at The Emirates, then he would be move elsewhere.
As a result, the Gunners boss allowed Martinez to join Aston Villa, but remained prepared for his departure.
The Gunners have shown interest in Brentford goalkeeper David Raya. While the Spaniard could still yet make the move across London, it is Runarsson who they have signed as competition for now.
The 25-year-old joins form French Ligue 1 side Dijon, where he shared the first-team spot with fellow goalkeeper Alfred Gomis. He made 14 appearances in all competitions last season, conceding just 26 times.
Runarsson began his senior career with Danish club FC Nordsjælland, after joining their academy in 2014.
He was integrated into the first-team slowly, again sharing the starting spot with fellow goalkeeper Indy Groothuizen in the 2016/17 season.
However, the following year saw him named the undisputed first-choice in goal. He made 36 appearances, conceding 58 goals and keeping six clean sheets; he was awarded the Player of the Year for his performances.
May Get More Game Time Than Expected
With games coming thick and fast in multiple competitions this season for Arsenal, the Icelandic international may get more game time than expected at Arsenal.
Arteta will be keen to preserve the fitness of Bernd Leno, especially after his injury towards the end of last season. As a result, Runarsson may become the Gunners’ designated ‘cup competitions’ goalkeeper, which has become a common occurrence among top six clubs in recent years.
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