Arsenal's goalkeeper crisis puts Lehmann in line for comeback
Tuesday 15 March 2011
Arsenal are set to re-sign their former goalkeeper Jens Lehmann after injury has left Arsène Wenger without Lukasz Fabianski and Wojciech Szczesny. The manager is seeking an experienced alternative to Lehmann's former rival Manuel Almunia.
Lehmann was set to work at Arsenal for six weeks as part of his coaching badges and, like many former players, he remains in contact with the club. While he has not played since retiring last summer, he is to join Arsenal's squad as Wenger seeks cover.
The manager admitted last week that he was searching for an "emergency keeper" and that he had someone in mind, after losing his two first-choice goalkeepers to injury. Fabianski was ruled out for the rest of the season after shoulder surgery last month. His Polish compatriot, Szczesny, dislocated his finger saving a Dani Alves free-kick against Barcelona in the Nou Camp last week and will be out for the next six weeks.
These injuries have brought Almunia back into the Arsenal side. The Spaniard came on as a substitute in Barcelona and played the final 71 minutes of the game. Wenger praised him afterwards for his performance, saying that he "did very well", and describing him as having "a very professional and very dignified attitude". Almunia then played in the FA Cup defeat against Manchester United at Old Trafford on Saturday, only his fourth start of the calendar year.
Lehmann had five years at Arsenal, starting with the unbeaten "Invincibles" season of 2003/04, in which he played every League match. He also won the 2005 FA Cup at the club, Arsenal's last major trophy, saving from United's Paul Scholes in the deciding penalty shoot-out. Having lost his place to Almunia during 2007/08, he left at the end of the year and joined Stuttgart, where he played for two seasons before retiring last summer. Lehmann played 194 games for Arsenal and won 61 caps for Germany.
Wenger spoke warmly of Lehmann just last week, discussing his positive reaction to losing his place to Almunia, after the German was dropped in August 2007 following an error against Fulham. "When I took Lehmann out, who only made one mistake," Wenger said, "and put Almunia in, Lehmann came in the next day and fought even harder. That is what I believe our job is about."
Latest in Sport
Petr Cech demands talks over Chelsea future as Thibaut Courtois begs him to stay – as mentor
Angel Di Maria: Manchester United to push ahead with £50m move for Real Madrid winger
Marcos Rojo to Manchester United: Sporting Lisbon confirm deal with Nani heading back to Portugal on loan
Sami Khedira to Arsenal: Midfield omitted from Real Madrid squad for Spanish Super Cup
David Gold furious after Carlton Cole parody account mocks up a picture of West Ham chairman as a suspect in the Madeleine McCann case
- 1 Michael Brown shooting: Police shoot and kill second young black man near Ferguson
- 2 James Foley 'beheaded': Isis video shows militant with British accent 'execute US journalist' – and warns Obama of more to come
- 3 Why are UK rail fares so expensive?
- 4 Here’s the damning letter Robin Williams wrote to his Mrs Doubtfire co-star's principal after they expelled her
- 5 Cilla Black defends Cliff Richard: 'I am positive that the allegations are without foundation'
Scottish independence: English people overwhelmingly want Scotland to stay in the UK
Isis threat: Cameron wants an alliance with Iran
Crisis? What crisis? A visiting US doctor gives the NHS a rave review
Russell Brand calls for Israel boycott: Comedian urges big businesses that 'facilitate the oppression of people in Gaza' to pull funding
Ukip MEP calls for reintroduction of death penalty on fiftieth anniversary of last deaths
Michael Brown shooting: Chaos erupts on the streets of Ferguson after autopsy shows teenager was shot six times – twice in the head