Yesterday saw the return of an Arsenal favourite: Jens Lehmann. A member of the invincibles of 2004 racking up almost 200 appearances for the Gunners and a regular fixture for the German national team until he retired at the end of the last season after a brief spell with Stuttgart.

First of all, Arsenal fans must remember that he is only signed as an emergency keeper on a week to week basis, before any of the North-London faithful complain about solving our goalkeeping crisis this is merely an ‘if Almunia gets injured’ back-up.

Starting with Almunia, who looked set to be leaving in January, he has a lot to play for: his place in the team, his future at Arsenal and his pride. All of which have a direct correlation to Lehmann who has just returned. Manuel Almunia will not want to lose his place in the start XI again after being frozen out for so long, let alone to a 41 year old who has come out of retirement. Almunia will certainly up his level of training.

We’ve seen Wenger have experienced players train with Arsenal over recent seasons such as Beckham, Henry, Pires, Campbell and now Lehmann. The experience and professionalism of seeing such stars train everyday will surely have a positive influence on the squad. However, many times we have heard Wenger say that he would rather let his youth blossom than sign players that block their way, so is it really worth signing Lehmann, who is likely to be sitting on the bench for the duration of his stay anyway, than letting players like Shea and Martinez get a taste of what it is like to prepare for game day? Hopefully, if Lehmann is indeed called upon, he’ll show that he can still play at the top level much like Campbell did last season.

It is highly unlikely that Mad Jens will play, but anything can happen at Arsenal as we’ve seen Almunia, Fabianksi and Szcznesy suffer injuries this season. It is not often a squad goes through 3 goalkeepers, but you can bet that Jens has his fingers crossed that his old rival will give him a chance to show the Arsenal fans that he’s still every bit of the character he used to be during his previous spell. Arsenal fans will however, like to see some ‘real’ transfer business on the goalkeeping front come this summer.

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