Veteran goalkeeper Jens Lehmann makes Arsenal return at 41 | inside World Soccer


Veteran goalkeeper Jens Lehmann makes Arsenal return at 41

Friday, March 18, 2011

Arsenal have confirmed that 41-year-old goalkeeper Jens Lehmann has come out of retirement to return to the club on a short-term basis to ease their injury concerns between the sticks.

Former Arsenal goalkeeper Jens Lehmann comes out of retirement to rejoin club
Former Arsenal goalkeeper Jens Lehmann comes out of retirement to rejoin club

Photo: Laurence Griffiths/GETTY IMAGES

Arsenal manager Arsène Wenger turned to the veteran stopper, who made 199 first team appearances for the Gunners between 2003-08, after a spate of injuries meant the title-chasers needed cover, after being left with no experienced cover for Manuel Almunia.

Teenager James Shea is the only other fit keeper on the Gunners' books as Wojciech Szczęsny, Łukasz Fabiański and Vito Mannone are all out through injury.

"Jens Lehmann is a great short-term signing for us and will be a valuable asset during a crucial time of the season," Wenger told the club's website.

"Jens has kept himself very fit during this season and will provide quality back-up to Manuel Almunia.

"Jens knows the club very well, is vastly experienced and will also be an extremely positive influence in the dressing room during his time with us."

Lehmann added: "I'm very excited to be rejoining Arsenal.

"I have kept myself fit since the end of last season and I'm ready to contribute at any time for the team.

"I have many great memories from my previous time at the Club and Arsenal has always had a place in my heart.

"It's special to be coming back. I can't wait to start working with the team again and I look forward to contributing as much as I can, both on and off the pitch during this time."

It means that the former German international has the chance of becoming the third-oldest player in the history of the Premier League.

Only John Burridge, 43 when he played for Manchester City against Queens Park Rangers in 1995, and Coventry City's Steve Ogrizivic, 42 when he retired after playing his final game against Sheffield Wednesday five years later, were older.


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