In comparison with most other players who have come through the ranks at Arsenal, it could be said that Vito Mannone has taken slightly longer to cement a place in the first team. However, after managing to establish himself between the sticks this year, the Italian shot stopper says that the club have every chance of making a serious push for the title this time around.
Up until recently, Mannone has never even been considered as a potential first team regular with Polish duo Wojciech Szczesny and Lukasz Fabianski being the main contenders for the No.1 jersey. However, with both of these players struggling with injuries through the opening months of the season, Mannone has been gifted the chance to step up to the mark and he has certainly impressed in the seven appearances he has made. He has been the centre point of some hugely impressive displays, with many labelling the Gunners as a much stronger unit at the back after conceding just five goals from the opening seven matches. Following on from this, many believe that Mannone will even keep his place when Szczesny recovers.
As well as being delighted with his own contribution to the team, the 24-year-old is also optimistic about the whole future of the club. Speaking to the media he said, “We have a good solid squad and I think we can go for it. I have no doubt that if we keep our focus and we keep our mentality, it’s not a doubt that we are going to challenge for the title. This is a club that is made for victories, it’s not a club that just wants to do well and get the third or fourth place. This club wants to win trophies and I hope that I can give my help for this team to do it.”