Roma director Walter Sabatini has reportedly traveled to London to finalize a deal for Arsenal stopper Wojciech Szcsesny according to James Cambridge of The Express. Reports coming in now indicate that the Polish keeper could find himself shipped out for another loan spell. Reports coming in from talkSPORT claim that Arsene Wenger still sees him as a part of the team in the future, but his chances of playing for Arsenal could be limited.
The 26 year old stopper, who spent the 2015-16 season on loan at Roma, is likely to feature far less than before after the arrival of Petr Cech and the possibility of David Ospina staying to provide competition for the Czech veteran.
Szczesny had been first choice keeper at Arsenal for over 3 seasons, taking over the No.1 shirt from Manuel Almunia a few years ago. In his last loan spell at Roma, Arsenal had agreed to pay up to two thirds of his wages, as reported by the Express, but are now hoping that Roma would agree to take him on a second loan spell while also paying his entire salary, in addition to a small loan fee, and Roma are apparently willing to meet this arrangement.
A primary reason for Arsenal’s stance on the matter can be linked to the Poland international’s performances for the Italian side. In his 42 appearances whilst at loan Szczesny has kept a total of nine clean sheets. Arsenal ‘s valuation for the player therefore, has understandably risen.
Further he has also been quoted saying that he has ‘learnt’ a lot from his Roma boss. According to the same report published by the Express, Szczesny has been quoted saying:
“I learnt more in four months under Spalletti than in 10 years in England”.
“If I stay at Roma, it’ll be an opportunity to grow and improve even more.”
It is clear that Szczesny has made his fondness for the Italian side no secret. Does he in actual fact have a future at Arsenal? It has been the opinion of several fans and football commentators that the Polish stopper is in no way a better understudy to Petr Cech than David Ospina. However, Cech is 33, turning 34 this year, while David Ospina, who is first choice keeper for Colombia is evidently not satisfied being a second choice keeper at the Emirates.
Szczesny’s performances for Arsenal in previous seasons have been below par in certain games, while he has performed brilliantly in certain others. There is no doubt that he has talent, and that he is yet to reach his full potential. Whether Arsenal can afford to wait for him to bloom at this stage, especially for a position that is so fundamental to any team challenging for the title, is a decision that lies solely with Arsene Wenger.
Finding a top class keeper in the summer transfer window is never easy, and if Ospina, who has in previous months been linked with a move away to Turkish giants Besiktas, were to leave, Arsenal would be left without a quality back up for Petr Cech.
These realities are indicative of the fact that Arsenal must not rush as far as a deal for Szczesny is concerned, and must wait for a little longer while the market is open.