As we reported yesterday, Arsenal has made the position of GK a priority this summer window. Jack Butland is known to be on that list, now the Gunners have identified another name to add to the shortlist.
According to Spanish outlet Mundo Deportivo, Arsenal is one of a number of Premier League clubs monitoring the situation of Jasper Cillessen. Mundo Deportivo believes that Chelsea, Manchester United, Manchester City, Arsenal and Bayern Munich are monitoring his progress closely.
Bayern Munich is said to be eager to sign the Dutchman as an injury to Manuel Neuer has forced the German giants to play 2nd choice keeper Sven Ulreich for the majority of the season. It’s said that Barcelona’s first choice Marc-Andre ter Stegen was is Bayern’s first choice target but his £150million release clause may be a barrier.
Jasper Cillessen has a far lower release clause thought to be £53m, a fee the Gunners have proven they can afford in recent windows. Arsenal is looking to secure a long-term replacement for veteran Petr Cech. Jasper Cillessen himself is 28 years old but he has at least 4 more years at the top level in him.
The Dutchman’s time in Catalonia has been mixed as he’s had to battle for the no.1 spot with Marc-Andre ter Stegen. This season the German has firmly established himself in that position, leaving Cillessen to rot on the bench. Jasper Cillessen has only been afforded playing time in the Copa del Rey (6) and 1 start in the Champions League.
For a keeper of his calibre, that’s not good enough and he shouldn’t be settling for less. With the crop of Europe’s elites looking for a new keeper, the 28-year-old could be getting the shine he deserves come the new season. Luckily for him, this lack of playing time shouldn’t affect his chances of going to Russia in the summer.
For Arsenal, Petr Cech has not lived up to the exploits he performed at Chelsea. The ’15 points’ that John Terry said Cech would gift Arsenal have not come to fruition and he’s been more of a hindrance instead. At 35 years of age, this is surely set to be Petr Cech’s last season as a first-choice keeper and Arsenal are planning for that inevitability already.
Arsenal has always been accused of being reactive than proactive in the transfer market, but this time, they can prove that things are truly changing behind the scenes. A number of appointments from Ivan Gazidis have changed the structure of daily operations in the club, giving Arsene Wenger less responsibility. The appointment of a Director of Football has been the most notable change implemented by the CEO.
Alongside Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang and Henrikh Mkhitaryan, the signing of Jasper Cillessen would truly transform Arsenal’s title credentials for next season.