The Daily Mail has today reported that Arsenal are keeping tabs on Leicester goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel, as their chances of signing Chelsea’s Petr Cech appear to be receding.
Paris Saint-Germain are understood to have jumped to the head of the queue for the decorated Czech, causing the Gunners to look elsewhere.
Leicester man Schmeichel is now 7/1 to be an Arsenal player by the end of the next transfer window, but being the north Londoners’ plan B has not always worked out well in the past, if the following examples are anything to go by…
Plan A: Julian Draxler – Plan B: Kim Kallstrom
The Gunners’ pursuit of Schalke’s skilful wide forward kept the gossip mongers in business with dreams of a Thierry Henry-like conversion to centre-forward for much of the January transfer window in 2014.
However, ultimately the club baulked at the Germans’ £37m asking price and Arsenal fans disappointment was amplified by the deeply underwhelming loan acquisition of Kallstrom.
Soon after it was revealed that the Swede had arrived carrying an injury and he managed just 135 minutes of forgettable football before returning to Spartak Moscow.
Plan A: Luiz Gustavo – Plan B: Mathieu Flamini
Arsenal were heavily linked with the Brazilian spoiler when it became clear that his days at FC Bayern Munchen were numbered.
Ultimately acquiring him proved beyond them and despite being linked with numerous other defensive midfield targets in the summer of 2013 only free transfer Flamini appeared.
Initially a breath of fresh air with his sleeves-rolled-up enthusiasm, the habitual rashness that draws cards from even the most moob-inhibited referees’ pocket has seen him slowly recede from the first team picture.
Plan A: Gary Cahill – Plan B: Sebastian Squillaci
Protracted and doomed bids for young English centre-halves are something of a speciality for Arsenal, as those who remember their attempts to sign Phil Jones will agree.
They failed to test Bolton’s resolve with a bid described as “derisory” by the Whites at the time, instead drafting in Squillaci, a defender Arsene Wenger described as follows:
“He is a real defender and is good in the one against one, good in the air, and can score goals on set-pieces as well. I believe he will be suited to the English game.”
Having taken over the number 18 shirt from past incumbents Mikael Silvestre and Pascal Cygan it should have been little surprise that the Frenchman’s Emirates tenure started off only vaguely convincingly before petering out into “does he still play for us?” oblivion.