Marchetti on cusp of joining Arsenal
Arsenal continue their long search for a solution to their goalkeeping woes. Federico Marchetti seems to an option Arsenal have clsoe to hand.
Written by Basil James.
The search for the new number 1 at Arsenal took on a new turn when Wenger decided to shift his attention to Federico Marchetti a few days ago. Cagliari, the Serie A club who currently employs the Italian keeper, has put Marchetti on the transfer list after the goalkeeper put in a transfer request.
As anyone even mildly interested in European club football would be aware, Arsenal have been on the search for a new goalkeeper like a couple of bloodhounds, especially after last season when Manuel Almunia and Lukas Fabianski put in less than impressive performances. After announcing months ago that Arsenal would have a new face between the sticks, the English giants have been on the trail of many a keeper across Europe. After having a bid for Fulham keeper Mark Schwarzer rejected, Arsenal have been busy scouting and some big names like Akinfeev and Stekelenburg have been floating around. But now all that can be put in the trash as Federico Marchetti looks set to become a Gunner.
Arsenal are reportedly planning to go with a £5.5 million bid for the goal keeper who played for Italy in the World Cup.
Apparently, Cagliari received a phone call from Arsenal inquiring about the shot stopper. After hearing about the interest from Arsenal, Marchetti was eager to apply for a transfer and his wish was granted. Marchetti was reportedly disgruntled after a prospective move to Sampdoria failed to take off and he made no secret of it. Caglairi feels Marchetti has no future at the club and is happy to let him go for an appropriate fee. Massino Cellino, the Cagliari president, was asked about Marchetti’s future and he said:
“Federico has expressed a desire to leave. The only club pushing for his signature is Arsenal and we will do everything to make him happy”.
The 27 year old goalkeeper did not play in Caglairi’s friendly match against Bastia and was heavily booed by Cagliari fans. They surely are not happy with Marchetti’s desire to leave the club. One club’s bad boy is another club’s new kid on the block.
The keeper who is 1.88 metres tall was adjudged the best guardian of goal in Serie B in 2007-08. At that time, he was employed by AlbinoLeffe. Cagliari signed him on loan in 2008-09 and made him a permanent feature in February of this year.
Federico Marchetti was Buffon’s deputy in the ill-fated Italian squad for the World Cup in South Africa. He came on as a substitute against Paraguay at the start of the second half and kept a clean sheet. He started in the game against Slovakia as Buffon was injured but could not put in a good show as Slovakia went on to shock Italy 3-2. Marchetti’s goalkeeping came under criticism after the loss, with many arguing that Buffon might have got his hands to the shots that shook the Italian net. An under par and slow defence did not help his cause either. Marchetti’s record of letting in four goals from six shots on target in two games after his World Cup debut does not show him in good light.
Marchetti could be a good addition to the Arsenal squad for the coming season. He has put in impressive performances in the Serie A and was praised far and wide by critics. His day was made when Gianluigi Buffon chose Marchetti as his favourite young Italian goalkeeper. However, his poor performances in the World Cup could indicate a lack of recognisable form in the young Italian keeper, meaning Arsenal would be back to square one if Marchetti cannot step straight in to the first team.
Marchetti seems to be the best goalkeeper available to Arsenal at the moment and it should not be too much trouble for Wenger to snap up the 27 year old player. However, whether his quality would be enough to bolster the squad which suffered heavily from goalkeeping errors in the past seasons is in doubt. His recent performances are not world class but if Wenger chooses to overlook that as a blip and rather concentrate on his league records, one could not blame him. After all, Arsenal are desperate for a top quality keeper and Wenger cannot be blamed for trying and testing anyone available.
Marchetti does seem to be on the cusp of joining Arsenal as both sides have agreed in principle and only the issue of price need to be sorted out. Most probably we might see Marchetti in the Arsenal jersey from August 15th. Only time will tell.
Do you think Federico Marchetti would be a good option for Arsenal?