Arsenal are reportedly facing a stiff competition from Everton in landing St. Etienne’s goalkeeper Stephane Ruffier as the Merseyside club is also keeping close tabs on the player. Following a decent season in the domestic league and in Europa League, where the side went on to the knockout stages, the 30-year-old shot-stopper has caught the attention of numerous clubs with his assuring glovework.
The North London side are standing in an intriguing juncture at the moment with some major changes expected in their squad this summer. Arsene Wenger got a two-year contract extension against some major promises of changing policies and bringing a fresh outlook in his methods, and recent transfer speculations indicate that he is already on the move.
Arsenal had a lot of crisis in the season gone but the 67-year-old hardly had to worry about the position under the bar. Wenger had deployed three goalies on three different fronts at the start of the season. While Petr Cech continued to be their first choice in the weekend Premier League action, David Ospina was given the responsibility of the Champions League and young Emiliano Martinez was in charge of the EFL Cup tournament.
With FA Cup starting gradually and Arsenal’s humiliating ouster from the Champions League, things changed. Wenger still wishes to keep his classification that way but with reports of David Ospina leaving the club for Turkish side Fenerbahce and on-loan keeper Wojciech Szczesny willing to move to Serie A giants Juventus, Arsenal would need to bring in someone to fill the second berth. And Wenger thinks the St. Etienne man can do it efficiently.
The 30-year-old has conceded 37 goals last term in 31 appearances for the French side. He also started five Europa League games conceding seven goals only. With Arsenal qualifying for the second-tier European tournament next season, he could be a good fit for the London side.
An academy product of AS Monaco, Ruffier broke into the first team in 2005 and was soon sent to Aviron Bayonnais. St. Etienne bought him in 2011 and he has since played 277 games for them conceding just 275 goals. However, his impressive displays haven’t earned him many national call-ups. Since making his debut back in 2011, he has seen only 3 starts for France.
With the World Cup coming up next, Ruffier could take his chances with a big switch this summer and who knows he could land up as a Europa League winner like Manchester United’s Sergio Romero.