Friday, March 18, 2011

Lehmann back at Arsenal

Jens Lehmann has today rejoined Arsenal on a monthly rolling contract until the end of the season. After negotiations with Arsène Wenger, Lehmann, who has made a combined total of over 650 club appearances during his career, has decided to come out of retirement to help the Club on a short-term basis during the time in which Arsenal keepers Wojciech Szczesny, Lukasz Fabianski and Vito Mannone are out through injury. Manager Arsène Wenger said: “Jens Lehmann is a great short-term signing for us and will be a valuable asset during a crucial time of the season. 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.” German international Lehmann originally signed for Arsenal from Bundesliga side Borussia Dortmund in July 2003 and went on to make 199 first team appearances for the Gunners.
During his first spell with Arsenal, Lehmann (41), played in every match of the Club’s unbeaten league campaign in 2003/04, when he was awarded the Premier League Golden Glove Award for his integral part in the ‘Invincibles’ season. As well as winning the Premier League title in 2003/04, Lehmann won the Community Shield in 2004and also an FA Cup winner’s medal in 2005, when he famously saved from Paul Scholes in the victorious penalty shoot-out. Prior to joining Arsenal in 2003, Lehmann was a Bundesliga title winner with Borussia Dortmund in 2002, and UEFA Cup winner with Schalke in 1997. He also had a brief spell with AC Milan in 1998. Lehmann was a regular fixture for the Germany national team for a decade, making 61 appearances for his country. Before retiring from international football in 2008, Jens was a member of the Germany World Cup squads in 1998, 2002 and 2006, in addition to their squads for the European Championship Finals in 2000, 2004 and 2008. After leaving Arsenal at the end of the 2007/08 season, Jens moved to German club Stuttgart, where he spent two years before announcing his retirement from football at the end of last season. After completing his short-term move to the Gunners, Lehmann said: “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.” Lehmann has already been training with the first team squad this week and is available for selection for the Premier League match at West Bromwich Albion on Saturday.


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