Arsenal sign their backup stopper amid the loss of cult hero Emiliano Martinez

The Gunners plug the hole left by cult hero Emiliano Martinez following his summer exit to Villa Park.

Alex Rúnarsson is the next player to walk into the Emirates on a permanent deal as the backup option to Bernd Leno. The Icelander joins from French outfit Dijon for a fee said to be £1.8m keeping him there for the next four years.

The North Londoners were forced to act in the market after losing Emi Martinez to Aston Villa on a four-year deal for £20m. The keepers rise post lockdown afforded him the option to seek another venture that offers him regular first-team football at Premier League level.

Arsenal have confirmed the signing of the Iceland goalkeeper Alex Rúnarsson on a four-year contract from the Ligue 1 club Dijon.

Rúnarsson arrives as Mikel Arteta reshapes his goalkeeping department following the departure of Emiliano Martínez to Aston Villa last week. Arsenal are believed to have paid Dijon around £1.8m and the 25-year-old will, for now at least, be Bernd Leno’s backup. (Via:

Emi’s move has proven fruitful with him and his new club picking up all three points in their opening fixture where they took advantage of a 10-men Sheffield United. He opened up his Villain account with a clean sheet.

Arsenal’s task to find a number 2 to Leno was something they weren’t prepared for, considering how they tried to tie Martinez down to a new long-term deal. But the club respected his decision and let him be on his way with no bad blood between them.

It didn’t take long for them to identify their man, discuss terms, and complete a deal. Now they one Alex Rúnarsson heavier for the new season and beyond. At the age of 25, there are many years ahead of him.

Before making the switch, Rúnarsson enjoyed two seasons in the French Ligue 1 with Dijon. He made 36 appearances over the two campaigns and conceded a high total of 16 during this time.

The backup joins following the arrival of Brazilian pair Willian and Gabriel Magalhaes and the return of Dani Ceballos from Real Madrid on a season-long loan.