How does Arsenal’s academy goalkeeping setup look following recent departures?


It is a summer of considerable change for Arsenal, and that certainly applies to the goalkeeping department as well, with there having been changes in that sector in terms of players and coaching staff at both first-team and academy level.

Here’s a look at how Arsenal’s goalkeeping setup could look for the forthcoming campaign, who the coaches are, and the questions that remain unanswered.

First-team

leno

Bernd Leno joined from Bayer Leverkusen and will be the club’s first-choice goalkeeper next season, which surely means that at least one of Petr Cech and David Ospina will depart permanently or on loan.

Emiliano Martinez, meanwhile, is back from his most recent loan spell at Getafe, where he barely featured. The Argentine turns 26 in September, so a decision on his long-term future will probably be made this summer.

Coaching staff

Gerry Peyton, Arsenal’s long-serving goalkeeping coach, has left the club, with Javi Garcia, who worked with new head coach Unai Emery at Paris Saint-Germain, taking his place. Garcia has also previously had spells coaching the goalkeepers at Granada, Sevilla and Swansea City. Sal Bibbo, meanwhile, will remain at the club.

U23s 

virginia

There was something of a clearout of goalkeepers at youth level at the end of last season, with Ryan Huddart, Hugo Keto and Alex Crean all being released.

Matt Macey remains at the club and is a candidate to be officially promoted to the first-team squad this summer.

Deyan Iliev showed some significant signs of improvement last season following his lengthy injury layoff and has been offered a new deal by Arsenal, which he is likely to accept. It is anticipated that Iliev could go out on loan at some point next season.

Joao Virginia, meanwhile, is widely seen as Arsenal’s most talented young goalkeeper. The Portuguese youth international is still eligible to represent the U18s as an overage player but he will be aiming to play the majority of his football for the U23s, having broken into the side towards the end of last season, and should also feature in the Checkatrade Trophy.

U18s

Arsenal completed the signing of Estonian youngster Karl Jakob Hein last month, and he will look to play regularly for the U18s.

Daniel Barden had to wait for his chances to impress last season and endured some difficult moments, not least in the 9-0 defeat to Tottenham Hotspur, but the youngster will be looking to earn a professional contract.

Tom Smith, meanwhile, is stepping up from Hale End to become a full-time scholar, but it remains to be seen whether the highly rated Arthur Okonkwo, who is being monitored by Celtic and RB Leipzig, will accept Arsenal’s offer to remain at the club.

Coaching staff

Andy Woodman will remain in charge of coaching the academy goalkeepers, where he will be joined by Chris Terpcou, who was previously at Newcastle United.

U16s

Arsenal have some talented goalkeepers at schoolboy level, with Polish prospect Hubert Graczyk and English youngster Ovie Ejeheim having both been called up to the U18 squad last season.

There could well be further alterations, but here is a look at how Arsenal’s goalkeeping setup could look next campaign.

First-team: Leno, Ospina

U23s: Macey, Virginia

Loan: Iliev

U18s: Hein, Barden, Smith

U16s: Graczyk, Ejeheim

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4 comments

  1. There could also be a financial element to any decision that the club make and Petr Cech is on much bigger wages than Ospina.
    Personally I’d prefer to have Cech as our cup goalkeeper but needs must…

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