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Vito Mannone: ‘I’m ready to be Arsenal number one’

September 21st, 2012

Vito Mannone has insisted that he is completely ready to become Arsenal’s first choice goalkeeper after receiving the backing of Arsene Wenger.

The Italian has grasped his opportunity to stake a claim for the number one jersey following Wojciech Szczesny’s injury problems in recent weeks.

The 24-year-old has kept collective clean sheets in his outings this season, bringing a calm presence to The Gunners’ back line. Though, Szczesny was reinstated into the starting line up for Arsenal’s game against Southampton, but his mistake led to the away side’s only goal in the 6-1 victory. Mannone regained his spot for Tuesday’s trip to Montpellier and has expressed his determination to remain in the starting line-up.

“It went well again in Montpellier and I am really focused on gaining the number one spot and keeping it,” Mannone told reporters.

“The boss has had some nice words for me, he talked to me and he said I am ready for the number one. I had two clean sheets in the first two games I played [this season] and, before the Southampton game, the boss talked to me and, for the first time, I felt he understood that I was ready to be number one.

“I am really close to the shirt. I hope, after the result in Montpellier, that something has changed.”

Mannone joined Arsenal in 2005 from Atlanta for a fee of £350,000.

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