Arsenal 'hold talks' with Dijon keeper Runarsson to replace departing Martinez: 5 things you should know about Gunners new target

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Arsenal 'hold talks' with Dijon keeper Runarsson to replace departing Martinez: 5 things you should know about Gunners new target

According to The Telegraph's Mike McGrath, a rather trustworthy source regarding English Premier League transfers, Arsenal have "held talks" with Dijon goalkeeper Runar Alex Runarsson.

The 25-year-old Icelander will cost roughly £1.5m, which is way less than £10m Brentford are demanding for David Raya. It is believed the Spanish goalie is only second on the Gunners' list.

Arsenal are expected to seal the deal after Emiliano Martinez moves to Aston Villa. The FA Cup winner, who has spent 10 years at the Emirates, has reportedly already agreed personal terms with the West Midlands side.

The north Londoners will earn £20m from this transfer, and will reinvest the money into signing a central midfielder, either Thomas Partey or Houssem Aouar.

Here's Tribuna.com's scouting report on Runarsson.

Key strengths. The 25-year-old has been praised for his footwork and character. It is something Arteta wants from his keepers, as you can see in the pattern leading to two of Arsenal's goals this season. Runarsson's average passing accuracy (68.2 per cent) is slightly better than that of Martinez (67.3), and he tends to play long-balls more often than the Argentine.

Arsenal connection. When the shot-stopper played for FC Nordsjælland in Denmark before moving to Dijon in 2018, he worked with current Arsenal goalkeeping coach Inaki Cana. Interestingly, the Spanish specialist is also seen as a person behind the pursuit of David Raya, as Cana was employed by Brentford before joining Arteta's coaching team.

It may sound amusing but it was Inaki Cana who uploaded twp compilation videos of Runarsson to his YouTube channel back in 2017 and 2018.

Stats. The Iceland international oscillates between the starting spot and the bench at Dijon, making 36 Ligue 1 appearances of possible 69. He has conceded 60 goals, keeping 6 clean sheets.

Perhaps these numbers are not very impressive but don't forget he plays for habitual relegation contenders.

Trivia. Runarsson has earned 5 caps for Iceland. He travelled with his side to the 2016 European Championship and the 2018 World Cup, and was on the bench for that game against England.

His father, former Lokeren midfielder Runar Kristinsson, is the only Icelandic footballer to have played more than 100 games for the national team.

Arsenal role. In case he joins, Runarsson will certainly be a back-up to Bernd Leno. However, having a reliable and ambitious goalie behind him will keep the German on his toes in Martinez's absence.

And, in few years, we hope the newly-minted Estonia international Karl Hein and other Arsenal young keepers, such as Arthur Okonkwo and James Hillson, develop into first-team players.

Do you think Runarsson would be a good signing for the Gunners?

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