By Declan Taylor

Arsène Wenger believes that Lukasz Fabianski is hot on the heels of Arsenal’s first choice goalkeeper Manuel Almunia.

The Polish stopper captained a young Arsenal side to an emphatic 6-0 victory in the Carling Cup Third Round against Sheffield United in September and Wenger is likely to continue with Fabianski between the sticks in the next round against Wigan tonight.

Speaking ahead of his side’s tie against Steve Bruce’s Latics, the Arsenal manager was full of praise for Almunia’s understudy, insisting that the Pole has an important role to play in the Gunners’ season.

“He is pushing very hard,” said Wenger. “I know Manuel Almunia is a great competitor with Fabianski, he would be the first to acknowledge that. Every time Fabianski has an opportunity to play he does very well.

“It is vital [to have two top class goalkeepers]. I believe we have four good goalkeepers, two of which are ready, experience-wise, to play at that level. The other two are pushing very hard as well. I am convinced that with only one goalkeeper you do not have a chance in a season like ours.”

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11 Nov 2008