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‘Innate talent’, ‘demands the maximum’: Arsenal coach’s prior praise of 25-year-old reported target

Mexico v Iceland
(Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images)


‘Innate talent’, ‘demands the maximum’: Arsenal coach’s prior praise of 25-year-old reported target

Arsenal are reportedly in advanced talks with Dijon over bringing goalkeeper Runar Alex Runarsson to the Emirates Stadium, according to Sky Sports.

With Emiliano Martinez reportedly heading to Aston Villa and Matt Macey also seeking a move away from Arsenal, the Gunners are in need of bolstering their goalkeeping ranks.

Runarsson, a player who previously worked with Arsenal goalkeeping coach Inaki Cana, is said to be on the North Londoners’ radar, with negotiations seemingly progressing well.

Paris Saint-Germain v Dijon FCO - Ligue 1

(Photo by Catherine Steenkeste/Getty Images)

The 25-year-old Iceland international has two years remaining on his contract with the French club, having joined from Danish side Nordsjaelland in 2018.

Although Runarsson struggled for game time at the French club last season, making just 11 Ligue 1 appearances, he is highly rated by Cana, the two having worked together in Denmark.

“As soon as he arrived at the club I saw his potential,” Cana is quoted by Nordisk Football as saying in 2017.

“We must not forget that he is only 22 years old (in 2017) and that he still has a lot of room for improvement, he is a goalkeeper who will have a great future.


“First of all, I have to say that Alex is a good person and an excellent professional. He always wants to improve and demands the maximum in every training session and in every game.

“He has an innate talent but above all a very large margin for improvement and a good competitive spirit.”

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Runarsson may have not got much game time at Dijon over the past season but with such a glowing recommendation from his former coach, now at Arsenal, he’s worth snapping up – particularly for a reported £1.5million fee.

That said, if Bernd Leno gets injured again, would Runarsson as back-up and either Macey or, if he leaves, a young Hale End graduate as third choice, inspire confidence when it comes to facing the Premier League’s top attackers for several weeks?

Perhaps a veteran keeper – former Newcastle stopper Rob Elliot is a free agent – should be considered as well as Runarsson.

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