It’s like the Return of the Jedi – or some other big-screen extravaganza – but this time it involves football in real-life!!
Jens Lehmann, the former Arsenal goalkeeper, is set to come out of retirement and return to the Emirates Stadium, to ease the current goalkeeping crisis at the club.
The Gunners are without first choice ‘keeper Wojciech Szczesny for the remainder of the season following the injury he sustained during the Champions League defeat in the Camp Nou against Barcelona whilst Lukasz Fabianski, the Polish deputy, and young Italian stopper Vito Mannone, currently on loan at Hull City, are also out of action for a considerable period.
Therefore, Arsenal are left with Manuel Almunia as their only senior goalkeeper. James Shea, an England youth international, has been recalled from a loan spell at Southampton, but he is yet to make a senior appearance for the club and is considered too inexperienced to risk as the Gunners press forward with their attempt to win the Premier League title.
Lehmann is set to join the club on a short-term deal and told German newspaper Bild, “Arsenal currently have a goalkeeping crisis and I jumped at the chance to help them.”
41-year-old Lehmann retired from the game last summer after two seasons in the Bundesliga with Stuttgart, following a five-year spell at Arsenal.
The controversial German, whose long-running feud at international level with Bayern Munich legend Oliver Kahn was always entertaining, made almost 200 appearances for Arsenal, but will always be remembered for his 2006 Champions League final red card during the 2-1 defeat by Barcelona in Paris.
Since retiring he has been working in the media, both with German and English broadcasters.
Yet a return is extremely likely, as the Premier League have confirmed that the German can be signed outside the transfer window, and Arsenal hope to have him available to be a substitute for their game against West Bromwich Albion at the Hawthorns this weekend.
Just imagine if he comes off the bench and saves a penalty – even Hollywood hasn’t thought up a storyline like that!!