The arrival of £10 million goalkeeper Petr Cech has prompted Arsenal’s former number one Wojciech Szczesny to seek first team football elsewhere, with a loan deal to Roma seemingly on the cards.
The Poland international saw his time on the pitch limited in the second half of last season, due to David Ospina’s fine form coupled with his own struggles for consistency, and the introduction of Cech to the squad is expected to further limit his playing time.
Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger revealed the deal was close to completion, saying:
“He could go on loan to Roma. We are pretty much done, it is down to paper work but as long as that is not over the line anything can happen.”
The 25-year-old shot-stopper was also the subject of encouragement and praise from his manager, who added, “Szczesny is a top-class goalkeeper – we have three goalkeepers who are top. For one of the keepers, if he can play somewhere that would be good.
“I believe he will have a future at Arsenal. I personally rate him highly – you do not take a boy and put him in the first team at the age of 20. He already has huge experience. I don’t want that experience at such a young age to be wasted.”
Szczesny joined Arsenal’s youth academy in 2006, making his first team debut in a Football League Cup match against West Bromwich Albion in September 2009, keeping a clean sheet.
He was touted by Wenger as a future goalkeeping great in December of the same year, and has gone on to make 132 appearances for the club, helping them lift two successive FA Cups.
Following the side’s 4-0 triumph in the FA Cup final against Aston Villa, Szczesny dismissed rumors he would be quitting the Gunners, claiming instead:
“I am happy where I am. I have got all the support in the world from the manager and I have fantastic relations with him, so you can stop the gossip now because I am here for good. I will stay.”