FORMER Arsenal manager George Graham believes the club will never win the Premier League until they replace Manuel Almunia with an exceptional goalkeeper.
The Gunners reported a record pre-tax profit of £56m on Friday – as exclusively revealed by City A.M. – but boss Arsene Wenger has resisted the temptation to spend big on a stopper.
That decision came back to haunt him on Saturday when Almunia errors contributed to a shock 3-2 home defeat to top-flight newcomers West Brom.
Graham paid a then-British record £1.3m for David Seaman in 1990 and the keeper let in just 18 goals as Arsenal won the title, before becoming an integral part of an infamously mean Highbury defence.
“I think if you’re going to really be realistic challengers for the Premier League you need a top, top class goalkeeper,” Graham said yesterday.
“I think Almunia is a good goalkeeper, but there’s about half a dozen good goalkeepers in the Premier League.
“I think Arsenal need an outstanding goalkeeper. I think they should be looking all round the world, not just in England or Europe.”
Wenger had a bid for Fulham’s Mark Schwarzer rejected over the summer but ultimately chose not to up the offer or pursue other targets.