Speaking in an interview with the Mirror, Arsenal vice-captain Per Mertesacker admitted that the team want on-loan keeper Wojciech Szczesny to return to the Emirates and that he believes the Poland international has a future in London (via the Mirror).
Szczesny, who is currently out on a season long loan at Serie A side AS Roma, has had a massive dip in his fortunes over the course of this year. On January 1st he was Arsenal’s first choice keeper, and lined up with the rest of the team against Southampton for our first game of the calendar year. During that game however, he was responsible for errors that led to both of our goals as we lost 2-0, and only made the situation worse as he was caught smoking in the team showers after the game (via ESPN).
Since then, the 25-year old has hardly featured for the Gunners, as he was first replaced by David Ospina and then Petr Cech. Indeed, the purchase of Cech over the summer followed by Szczesny’s departure on loan seemed to indicate that the Pole’s time with Arsenal was drawing to a close. However, if Mertesacker is to be believed, then we may yet see the unpredictable keeper play for us.
“Wojciech wants to compete. I think he’s a good goalkeeper and he can still develop” the German said.
“The team wants him back – that’s good for him. He’s shown great character already in this team and I think he has got a bright future.”
It is not quite that easy though, even if we assume that the manager also has Szczesny in his plans. Cech is the undisputed No.1 at the Emirates right now, and based on his current abilities he seems likely to retain that role for at least a couple of seasons more. This means that Szczesny will have to be content with either staying out on loan spells for a few years or becoming Arsenal’s Cup keeper. For a player of his age, that seems to be highly unlikely.
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Added to this is the fact that we still have David Ospina on the payroll, and that Roma have declared their interest in making the loan deal permanent at the end of the season (via talkSPORT). This is sure to tempt Szczesny somewhat, as a guaranteed starting berth is surely his primary demand. Hopefully, Arsene Wenger figures something out and makes the team and fans happy by bringing Szczesny back to the Emirates. Or, failing that, is at least able to get a good price for him in the transfer market.