Lukic laments Arsenal's lack of No.1 signing

Former Arsenal goalkeeper John Lukic has lamented Arsene Wenger’s failure to bring an established goalkeeper to Emirates Stadium to replace Manuel Almunia.

Lukic believes the Gunners should be looking to Liverpool's Pepe Reina, Inter Milan's Julio Cesar or Barcelona’s Victor Valdes as replacements for the current Arsenal No.1 if they are to challenge for honours again.

"There’s an old saying that you don’t win the championship with a bad goalie," he said in The Mirror.

"I’m not saying Manuel Almunia is bad – but the ­really top keepers do win games for you."

Lukic made 238 league appearances for the Gunners over two spells at the club, winning the league title in 1989.

He believes the club have struggled to find an adequate goalkeeper after the period of stability provided by himself and his successor David Seaman.

"I joined Arsenal in 1983 and left in 1990 when David arrived. So between us we spent around 20 years as the Arsenal goalie. How many keepers have been used since David moved on in 2003?

"The pursuit of a veteran like [Mark] Schwarzer suggests that ­Arsene does still believe his long-term goalie will emerge from inside the club.

"He’s looking for a short-term fix, with Lukasz Fabianski or Wojciech ­Szczesny eventually taking over. You have to be absolutely convinced that the youngster is good enough to do that.

"Given that Arsenal haven’t won a trophy for five years do you really want to be ­working on a development programme?"

Lukic believes that Arsenal should instead be looking to invest in a shot-stopper currently at the the top of their game, who is likely to be around for many years to come.

"I’d look for a goalie in his late twenties with a proven track record and put him straight into the team," he said.

"Pepe Reina at Liverpool is an interesting one. The dust hasn’t settled at Anfield yet and he would be a great ­capture for Arsenal. He’s in the right age group, knows the Premier League, and has a wealth of experience.

"I’d also look at Julio Cesar and ­Victor Valdes. The key is for ­Arsenal to find the best man, get him in their team and nail the ­position down for years."

By Patrick Barrett

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