Arsenal goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny has reportedly put pen to paper and inked a new four year extension with the Gunners, according to reports in Mirror.
The Poland international whose existing deal runs until 2015, has seen his fine form for the North London outfit this season rewarded with a new long-term deal which includes a significant salary increase.
The report suggests that the 23 year old will pocket £20 m over the course of the contract and will earn £100,000 a week which is a significant rise on his current £40,000 a week wages and will put him on par with some of the club’s top earners.
It emerged last month that the Gunners had opened contract talks with their first choice shot stopper as manager Arsene Wenger was said to be happy with Szczesny’s response to being dropped last season. The news effectively puts to rest rumors of Arsenal’s interest in Real Madrid’s Iker Casillas and Celtic’s Fraser Foster, while also waving off Spanish giants Barcelona’s interest in the young goalkeeper.
Last season was a difficult campaign for Szczesny as he struggled for form and was eventually dropped during the latter part of the season. He also faced an uncertain future during the summer as the Gunners were linked with big names to replace/compete with him. Fabianksi overtook him in the pecking order after some good performances but once again he suffered injury troubles and allowed his fellow Polish international to regain his place.
Szczesny has responded well and was one of the stars of Arsenal’s impressive run that saw them clinch fourth spot ahead of rivals Tottenham to gain Champions League qualification. He started this season too on a positive note which has forced Wenger to ditch his plans on bringing a first choice keeper and instead opted to bring Emiliano Viviano as cover on loan.
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Szczesny is at last producing some real consistency and the new bumper contract is a result of that. From a physical standpoint, he is a match for any goalkeeper in the game. He has the height, agility, reflexes and speed of reaction that defines the very best at his position. But technically he has not been the best, but improvement in this area can be taught and it appears as though the shot stopper is willing to listen.
He is no longer the conceited and erratic youngster who you couldn’t trust. He is now an increasingly dependable and assured figure playing with the right amount of confidence, even if his swagger levels sometimes need capping. He will only get better and better with age and might be destined for big things at the Emirates.
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