The Poland international, who made just one Premier League appearances this season, has played every game in the run to Saturday’s showpiece against Hull and even saved two penalties in the shootout win over Wigan in the semi-final at Wembley last month.
Koscielny has hailed the 29 year old’s professionalism for doing his best in the FA Cup despite his Premier League exile and has even compared him with Iker Casillas.
Speaking to Arsenal’s official website, he said:
Lukasz is a very good goalkeeper. He’s a big professional and he’s the first in training to prepare. He tries to improve himself in training and during the game if he’s on the bench you feel he’s concentrating with the team.
He is very good off his line, like Wojciech, and has good feet which is very important for modern football now. He reads the game well when he needs to get to the ball in front of the striker.
He plays the FA Cup – a little like Iker Casillas at [Real] Madrid, who plays in just the cups. But he’s done the job well, every time when you call on Lukasz to play he has done the job so it’s very important to have two goalkeepers at this level.
He saved our team in the semi-final, he was the hero for Arsenal so I’m happy for him because he’s a nice man and he works hard for the team.
The 29 year old joined Arsenal from Legia Warsaw in 2007 and has made 77 appearances in all competitions for the Gunners to date. He is expected to leave the club at the end of his current contract, which expires in the summer. He has reportedly attracted attention from clubs in Germany, Poland and even Southampton have been linked with the Pole in recent days.
He has been playing second fiddle to Wojciech Szczesny for a while now and although he has impressed on occasions, he has been left frustrated at the lack of first opportunities as of late. He isn’t a bad goalkeeper to be honest, as he has had calamitous moments in the past but every keeper suffers a similar period during their development. He is a good shot-stopper, who commands his area well and has decent enough reflexes.
There has also been also been a lot of talk on who should start the Cup final and I feel the Polish keeper is the right man. He booked our ticket to Wembley by saving two penalties and it’s only right that he starts ahead of Szczesny, who is the more obvious choice. Wenger has relied on him up to this point of the competition, so why not in the final?
He wouldn’t want to stay unless things change, but his recent performances in the FA Cup have proved that when he’s on form, he is as good as it gets and it would be great if we could manage to keep him at the club…But the ball is in his court just like Sagna and this could damage his chances at starting between the sticks today against Hull.