Fabrizio Romano: Arsenal 'in touch with Ajax star's agent' ahead of potential transfer

Arsenal's home ground, The Emirates

Fabrizio Romano has claimed that Arsenal are currently in contact with Ajax goalkeeper Andre Onana's representatives over a potential move to the Emirates this summer.

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What did Romano say about Onana?

Onana has been linked with a move to the north London club in recent weeks, and Romano has confirmed that Arsenal are interested in the player, but that a deal is not close to being agreed at the moment.

Speaking on The Here We Go Podcast, Romano said: "They are in touch with the agent. They like the player, he’s a serious opportunity but it’s not advanced or closed yet so now Arsenal will talk with people close to Onana, with his agent, to understand the situation. But, it’s not done yet."

What were Onana's stats in 2020/21?

The 25-year-old Cameroon international made 20 appearances in the Eredivisie for Ajax this term, and conceded just 15 goals while keeping nine clean sheets as the Amsterdam-based club ran away with the league by 16 points. 

It was a different story in the Champions League, though. After being handed a tough group which contained Liverpool and Atalanta, Ajax lost three of their six matches in the first stage of the competition, and dropped into the Europa League after Christmas.

When would Onana be available to play for Arsenal?

Onana was handed a one-year doping ban after failing an out-of-competition test back in February, meaning that he missed the final months of the season. Had the ban been upheld, he would not be able to play again until next February.

However, his suspension has since been appealed, and it has now been reduced to nine months. As a result, he will now be available to return to football on November 3. Therefore, if Arsenal do opt to sign him, he would miss just under three months of the Premier League season.

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Would he be an upgrade on Bernd Leno?

It seems that he could be.

Arsenal had a tough campaign in 2020/21, and Leno was hardly a convincing presence between the sticks. 

WhoScored gave the German an average match rating of 6.56 - this saw him rank 19th amongst his teammates. While he only made one direct error leading to a goal, it was a calamitous one, as he scored a scarcely believable own goal to hand Everton a 1-0 victory at the Emirates in April. 

Errors like this and the one which led to his comical sending-off against Wolves in February may make Arsenal fans wonder if there is a better option out there, and Onana could be the player who proves to be an upgrade on Leno.

Despite his year being curtailed by his drugs ban, the 6 foot 3 shot-stopper was still able to show what he could do in 2020/21, and he received an average game rating of 6.97 from WhoScored - a significantly higher mark than Leno.

This suggests that he would be a more reliable option for Arteta moving forwards, and may be the goalkeeper to shore things up at the back at Arsenal next year if he does sign on the dotted line in the coming weeks.

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