Arsenal make Toulouse teen their Petr Cech succession plan

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Arsenal to finish in the top four

The warning signs emerged when David Opsina was the surprise selection in goal for Arsenal’s Champions League opener against Paris Saint-Germain. The club are preparing for life after Petr Cech.

The former Chelsea man has played in all but four of the Gunners’ Premier League games since moving to north London, but won’t be used in cup games by Arsene Wenger this season.

Although splitting duties between two keepers is becoming increasingly common in football, news that Arsenal are pursuing Toulouse’s teenage number one suggest that the 34-year-old’s top-flight career is beginning to wind down.

Alban Lafont is only 17-years-old and certainly won’t be taking Cech’s place in the Arsenal lineup any time soon, but he is already the French club’s first-choice stopper and is impressing Gunners scouts with his performances.

The Burkina Faso-born keeper broke into the TFC first team last season, making 24 Ligue 1 starts and keeping eight clean sheets as the club avoided relegation.

Those shutouts were the 14th most in the division and all bar one of the 13 glovemen ahead of him made more appearances.

This term Lafont already has two in six games as Toulouse have made a fast start to their league campaign, winning three times to sit third, just two points off Monaco in top spot.

His outstanding efforts between the sticks earned him a new contract at Stadium Municipal, tying him to the club until 2020.

That will likely mean Arsenal will have to splash the cash to lure him to the Emirates, by which time Cech may be willing to step aside.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing

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Matt Wiggins

No idyllic sound comes close to leather on willow for Matt, whose previous experience includes stints with Spin Magazine and Surrey County Cricket Club. It's not just cricket that interests him though, with football, golf, tennis and any American sport not played on ice all high on his list of favourites.