Runarsson to Arsenal is complete.
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Icelandic international goalkeeper Alex Runarsson has finally sealed his move to the Gunners, as the 25-year-old has joined Arsenal from Ligue 1 side Dijon.
Let’s hope he cuts the mustard for the north London club… (sorry, I just couldn’t help myself.
Runarsson arrives to provide competition for Bernd Leno following the departure of Emiliano Martinez to Aston Villa.
Speaking about his arrival at the Emirates Stadium, Runarsson wants to push for as many minutes as possible as Arsenal will be in Premier League, League Cup, Europa League and FA Cup action this season.
“I’m just extremely happy, extremely proud, it is a big day for me and my family. I can’t wait to get started!” Runarsson said. “It is one of the biggest clubs in the world – they’ve won the Premier League 13 times, the FA Cup 14 times, it is a huge club and obviously playing in the Premier League as well, it is a win-win situation. I know it is going to be a lot of hard work, but I am ready to do everything I can to get the most amount of minutes as possible.”
“I would say I’m a modern goalkeeper. It is one of my best attributes that I’m comfortable with my feet, I can play with my right and left foot, I am not afraid to play as a sweeper and I am good one against one. For goalkeepers, because we play a position where if we make a mistake, most of the time it will lead to [a goal] so you need to have a strong mindset. You need to have a mindset where you demand the best so you don’t make those mistakes too often. That’s why you need to work hard, you need to train hard to be able to perform in the matches.”
Being good with your feet is clearly something Arteta wants from his goalkeepers and it is something that Leno can improve on.
Runarsson worked with Arsenal’s current goalkeeping coach, Inaki Cana, when they were both in Denmark at FC Nordsjaelland, so he should settle in very well in England. Arteta is eager for Runarsson to push Leno all the way for the starting spot.
“We want to create healthy competition for places and we look forward to seeing Alex bring further depth to the goalkeeping position,” Arteta said.
This is the perfect back-up goalkeeper situation.
Martinez leaving seemed harsh but after proving himself during ‘Project Restart’ after replacing the injured Leno, then being key in Arsenal winning the FA Cup after so many years on the periphery, it was clear that Martinez would play second fiddle behind Leno this season.
Runarsson will now be the back-up to Leno and the German goalkeeper has been very consistent since arriving at Arsenal in the summer of 2018. That said, many Arsenal fans weren’t sure about him coming straight back in for Martinez and if Runarsson performs well in some of the cup competitions, who knows? Playing out from the back is key to Arteta’s philosophy and Runarsson slots in nicely in that regard.