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Last Updated: Tuesday, 17 June, 2003, 11:56 GMT 12:56 UK
Wenger's biggest decision
By Phil Harlow

Goalkeepers linked with Arsenal
Lokomotiv Tbilisi's Giorgi Lomaia (top left)
Monaco's Flavio Roma (top middle)
Barcelona's Rustu Recber (top right)
Leeds' Paul Robinson (bottom left)
Valencia's Santiago Canizares (bottom middle)
AC Milan's Christian Abbiati (bottom right)
Sunderland's Thomas Sorensen
Celta Vigo's Pablo Cavallero
Palmeiras' Marcos
Inter Milan's Sebastian Frey
After 13 seasons and more than 500 appearances for the club, Arsenal were always going to have a job replacing David Seaman between the posts at Highbury.

But as AC Milan's Christian Abbiati becomes the latest lead to go cold, who will Arsene Wenger land as his number one?

The Gunners have been linked with just about every available goalkeeper in Europe but all to no avail.

Turkey international Rustu Recber has moved to Barcelona, while AC Milan's second choice Abbiati preferred a new deal on reduced terms at the San Siro to a "mega offer" from Arsenal.

And Monaco sporting director Henri Biancheri said that Falvio Roma is going nowhere either.

"He is not joining Arsenal, he is not leaving us whatsoever," he said.

Arsenal goalkeeping legend Bob Wilson told BBC Sport he believes the answer to the problem is staring Wenger right between the eyes.

Last season, with the ageing Seaman increasingly struggling with injury problems, Wenger called on the 22-year-old Stuart Taylor to fill the void.

And Wilson, who coached Seaman, Taylor and the other Arsenal keepers until 2002, says Wenger need look no further.

"I really hope Stuart gets given the chance to show what he can do," Wilson told this website.

Arsenal keeper Stuart Taylor
Taylor is desperate to become Arsenal's number one
"He's played 30-odd games now and he's never let anyone down. There's no doubt in my mind he's up to the job.

"In terms of his technique, I think he's as good as Chris Kirkland or Paul Robinson or any young English goalkeeper.

"And I honestly think he's just as good as a lot of the names that have been linked with Arsenal.

"If you were to tell me that Buffon or someone like that was going to come in, that's one thing. But some of the people linked are not in that class."

Taylor certainly believes he has done enough to deserve a chance at establishing himself as Arsenal's number one - although he is prepared to wait if Wenger does sign a more experienced player.

"I've been at Arsenal six years now and it has been my ambition and dream to have the first-team jersey on a regular basis," said Taylor.

"I don't think I'm too young any more.

"Maybe the manager still thinks I'm too young, but I'm prepared to give it a couple of years."

Whether or not he makes Taylor wait another two years for his chance, it is a decision which Wenger must take quickly.




SEE ALSO
Rustu set to join Barca
10 Jun 03  |  Other European
Canizares eyes Arsenal move
11 Jun 03  |  England
Wilson rules out Seaman return
05 Jun 03  |  England
Taylor aims to be number one
05 Jun 03  |  Arsenal
Seaman to join Man City
04 Jun 03  |  Man City

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