Goalkeeper Mattia Perin should be on Arsenal’s summer radar

As Petr Cech is beginning to show is age, Arsenal are said to be in the market for a new goalkeeper this summer. The 35-year-old Cech has made numerous blunders during the current campaign, and is not the world-class keeper he once was. The Gunners brought in the former Czech Republic international from rivals Chelsea in the summer of 2015, and while he has performed fairly well up until this season, Arsenal should be looking to replace their number one shot-stopper with a younger keeper.

Atletico Madrid’s Jan Oblak and Athletic Bilbao’s Kepa Arrizabalaga would be outstanding choices to replace Cech; however, both La Liga keepers would cost a pretty penny. Oblak reportedly has a €100 million buyout clause from Diego Simeone’s club, while Arrizabalaga recently re-signed a new deal which saw his release clause rise to €80 million. Arsenal would love to have either as their future keeper, but their price tags will hinder any deal between the clubs.

With Arsenal’s slim hopes of returning to the lucrative Champions League resting on their Europa League run, money could very well be somewhat tight come summer. This, however, does not necessarily mean the Gunners can’t find a decent replacement at the position. Genoa’s Mattia Perin would be a solid choice should Arsenal go for the Italian. Perin, 25, is widely regarded as one of the top goalkeepers in the Serie A and could very well replace the legendary Gigi Buffon between the sticks as Italy’s number one once the 40-year-old keeper retires.

Perin currently has 10 clean sheets during league play, third-most in Serie A (one more than the highly-regarded Gianluigi Donnarumma). Not only has Perin collected a plethora of clean sheets this season, but he also ranks high in saves (72) and saves per goal allowed (2.92). The Italian has also allowed just 27 goals in 26 league games during the 2017/18 season, fifth fewest in Serie A. This is impressive considering his team are currently sitting 13th in the table.

Made club captain prior to the start of the season, Perin also performs fairly well during penalty kicks. Per Transfermarkt, the 25-year-old keeper has saved nine of 42 penalties faced during his career (21%). While these numbers are fairly good, Perin has gotten better at these scenarios in recent years. Since the start of the 2013/14 season, the Italian has saved an impressive six of 20 penalty shots (30%).

Italian legend Dino Zoff has recently given Perin extremely high praise due to his performances on the pitch. The former World Cup winner claimed that the Genoa keeper is the premier Italian at his position. “I consider him to be the best Italian in his role and that’s not just at club level, but also for the Nazionale,” Zoff told Il Mattino In January. “Perin is hot property on the market because he really represents the Italian school of goalkeeping. He is a classic number one who keeps out goals and has good passing technique too.”

Although Arsenal are reportedly interested in Bayer Leverkusen’s Bernd Leno, it appears as if Perin may be the better option for the Gunners looking forward. Perin has outperformed Leno, as well as Cech, during the current campaign.

Perin’s current contract with Genoa is set to end following the 2018/19 season, and Arsenal could use the expiring deal as a bargaining chip. Should the Gunners go for Perin, they will have to fend off interest from Napoli and AC Milan (should Donnarumma depart). The Italian’s reflexes, technique, and quick feet would be a welcome addition to the current Arsenal team.

SEE MORE: Schedule of Arsenal games on US TV and streaming

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