Four goalkeepers Arsenal could sign in January to replace Alex Runarsson

Runarsson has struggled when deputising for Leno
Runarsson has struggled when deputising for Leno (Picture: Getty Images)

With Alex Runarsson potentially heading for the exit door just four months after moving to the Emirates, Metro Sport take a look at who could come in to replace Arsenal’s No.2 in January.

The Gunners brought in the Iceland international to fill the void left by Emiliano Martinez, who was sold to Aston Villa last summer.

Runarsson joined from Ligue 1 side Dijon for £1.5million on a four-year contract but has struggled on the rare occasions he has been selected this season.

The Gunners could be in a spot of bother if Leno were to be sidelined
The Gunners could be in a spot of bother if Leno were to be sidelined (Picture: Getty Images)

The 25-year-old has featured mostly in the Europa League, but was rarely called upon in matches dominated by Arsenal’s second string team.

However, when tasked with facing top-level opposition in their Carabao Cup exit at the hands of Manchester City, his deficiencies were laid bare.

With his team desperately in need of a positive result amid a terrible run of form, Runarsson palmed a Riyad Mahrez free-kick into his own net and effectively condemned the Gunners to defeat.

If Bernd Leno were to get injured, Runarsson would be the only senior goalkeeper available after former third-choice option Matt Macey’s departure to Hibernian last week.

Reports claim that Arsenal are indeed ready to send Runarsson out on loan, while Mikel Arteta has suggested that the club are on the lookout for a new stopper in January.

The club’s first-choice target last summer, David Raya, is still of interest, but reportedly highly unlikely to be lured away from Brentford this month.

With just over two weeks of the winter window left to go, who could the Gunners look to bring in?

Aitor Fernandez

Aitor Fernandez was linked with a move to Arsenal in the summer
Aitor Fernandez was linked with a move to Arsenal in the summer (Picture: Getty)

Levante’s No.1 claimed the north Londoners contacted him over a move to the Emirates back in the summer, but opted to stay in Spain due to the adulation he has received from the La Liga club’s fans.

‘The club transmitted calm and I wanted to stay,’ he told AS in November. ‘We looked at the fact I’d got the affection of the fans. 

‘It’s true there was contact with Athletic Bilbao and Arsenal. Quite a lot of clubs have asked and it’s true those two did ask. I feel I have lots of support at Levante.’

Should the 29-year-old change his tune, the Gunners would be getting a ‘keeper with plenty of experience in Spain’s top flight.

Fernandez has made 67 La Liga appearances since joining Levante in 2018 and represents a solid option between the sticks.

Mat Ryan

Matt Ryan is out of favour at Brighton
Matt Ryan is out of favour at Brighton (Picture: Getty)

Since being replaced by Robert Sanchez as Brighton’s first-choice goalkeeper earlier this season, Graham Potter has told Ryan that he is free to leave the Amex Stadium in January.

Ryan had been a mainstay for the Seagulls in the Premier League since their promotion in 2017, making 121 top-flight appearances.

The Australia international also has 59 caps for his country and is a consistent and reliable shot-stopper.

Sergio Romero

Sergrio Romero is set to leave Manchester United
Sergrio Romero is set to leave Manchester United (Picture: Getty)

Another with plenty of experience, albeit not much in the Premier League, Romero is a player Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is willing to axe at Manchester United.

The 33-year-old enjoyed spells in Argentina, the Netherlands, Italy and France before moving to Old Trafford in 2015.

Romero has made a total of 61 appearances for the club across all competitions, with only seven of those coming in the league.

But he has fallen further down the pecking order this season with David de Gea and now Dean Henderson ahead of him.

With 96 caps for Argentina, Romero has a lot to offer, however his estimated £100,000-a-week wages will almost certainly deter the Gunners.

Seny Dieng

Seny Dieng has been in impressive form for QPR in The Championship
Seny Dieng has been in impressive form for QPR in The Championship (Picture: Getty)

The 26-year-old has been linked with Arsenal after an impressive run of form as QPR’s No.1 this season.

Dieng joined the west London club back in 2016 from German third division side MSV Duisberg.

After multiple loan spells including two seasons at non-league level, the highly-rated goalkeeper is taking his chance at the Championship club.

The big question mark, of course, would be if he can make the step up to the Premier League.

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