Arsenal have set their transfer sights on Norwegian international goalkeeper Orjan Nyland, according to reports.
Metro cite speculation in the player’s homeland when claiming that the Gunners want to bring the 23-year-old to the Premier League this summer. The club have been monitoring his progress on a regular basis over the past 18 months, it’s claimed, and are now ready to make their move.
Arsene Wenger has been impressed by the scouting reports he’s received on the player, and will make the stopper one of his top targets in the transfer window despite some bigger names previously being linked. That includes Real Madrid veteran Iker Casillas.
The Spanish legend might have had a World Cup to forget with his country, but he remains well-respected in the game after helping Los Blancos win the Champions League last season. He didn’t feature at all in La Liga, losing his place to Diego Lopez.
That has led to speculation over his future at the Santiago Bernabeu, but it doesn’t look like he’ll be leaving Carlo Ancelotti for north London anytime soon.
Instead, Wenger has set his sights on a much younger option, as he searches for a new back-up at the Emirates Stadium. The Frenchman has allowed Lukasz Fabianski and Emiliano Viviano to leave the club this summer, and he needs someone to not only sit on the bench but challenge current number one Wojciech Szczesny.
Nyland’s track record suggests he might well be able to do that, having joined Molde as a free agent in 2013 and forced his way into the first team. He was also named goalkeeper of the tournament at the U21 European Championships in the same year, getting the nod ahead of Spanish stopper David de Gea.
However, it’s a little bit of a surprise that the Arsenal boss favours a youngster over potential experience, as Szczesny is only 24-years-old himself. A veteran who has done it all before might be helpful in helping the Pole’s own development at the Emirates Stadium.
That’s where a Casillas might have been handy, although such a player would have expectations of playing in the big games, which could work in the opposite way if your trying to bring through a young player. That’s certainly the case with Szczesny, who has made the Gunners’ number one position his own in recent times.
Nyland will be conscious of that fact, and having forced his way into international contention, won’t want to undo all his hard work by sitting on the bench in the Premier League. He would surely come to challenge for a starting spot.
They say competition brings the best out of players, and the Arsenal boss would hope that’s the case if he were to bring Nyland to the club in the coming months.