Arsenal have confirmed that goalkeeper Rúnar Alex Rúnarsson has joined Turkish side Alanyaspor until the end of the season. It was initially thought that Rúnarsson would leave the club permenantly, however, the club opted for a loan move for the goalkeeper after advanced talks with Alanyaspor.
Rúnarsson spent last season on loan at Belgian First Division A club, OH Leuven.
Rúnarsson’s time at Arsenal has not been the roaring success that the club would have hoped for upon signing him.
Following Emiliano Martínez’s £20m transfer to Aston Villa, Rúnarsson was signed on the recommendation of goalkeeping coach Iñaki Caña Pavón, who had previously worked with the Icelandic goalkeeper at FC Nordsjælland in Denmark.
Signing from French side FC Dijon for an initial £1.8m fee, Rúnarsson was brought in as Arsenal began to re-think their strategy for the new number one.
Bernd Leno was the club’s established goalkeeper, however, Arsenal wanted someone to potentially challenge Leno for the position, with a view to taking over from the German shotstopper at a later date.
A deal for Brentford’s David Raya fell through, so Arsenal instead turned their attentions to Rúnarsson.
Rúnarsson’s performances for Arsenal left plenty to be desired and he was soon frozen out of the team.
Last season, Arsenal completed the £30m signing of Aaron Ramsdale from Sheffield United, forcing Leno down the pecking order into the number two role, meaning that Rúnarsson was going to be further down still, especially as Arthur Okonkwo and Karl Jakob Hein were constantly around the first-team.
Despite joining Leuven the 31st of August, Rúnarsson did not make his first appearance for the team until the 27th of October, in the team’s 2-1 win over Lierse Kempenzonen in the Belgian Cup. After that, Rúnarsson found game time easier to come by, making his league debut a month later against Union SG.
Overall, Rúnarsson ended up making 21 appearances in all competitions for Leuven as they reached the quarter finals of the Belgian Cup, but slumped to a largely unimpressive 11th in the league.
Arsenal seem fairly keen to sell Rúnarsson permanently, however, no permanent deals have been forthcoming. The club may look into selling at the end of the season, depending how he performs in Turkey, with Alanyaspor keen to discuss a potential deal at the end of the season.
Rúnarsson is the latest in a series of outgoings at the club, albeit on a temporary basis. Bernd Leno has joined Fulham, Nuno Tavares has been loaned to Marseille and Lucas Torreira recently completed an £8m move to Turkish side Galatasaray.
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