It probably won’t surprise anyone who liked Wojciech Szczesny in the first place that AS Roma want to keep the Pole beyond this season.
The 25-year-old goalkeeper is on loan in the Italian capital for the season, after the arrival of Petr Čech made it perfectly clear playing time in London would be limited. Whether or not Arsenal – and Arsène Wenger – plan with Szczesny in the future remains to be seen, but Roma are keen on making the move permanent.
Currently third in Serie A and just a point off the summit, Roma are having a good season and Szczesny kept a clean sheet in his first Rome derby last weekend.
The Poland international seems to be happy enough at the Serie A club, but he has reiterated his love for Arsenal and his desire to return to the club. Unfortunately for him, at the age of 33, Čech could still have five or so years ahead of him at the top level and opportunities at Arsenal could be scarce.
There is a way for Szczesny to all but guarantee regular playing time at the pinnacle of the game, but it would probably mean leaving Arsenal for good. Could he remain in Rome?
“We are working on it and would like to keep Szczesny, but knowing Arsenal it will be difficult to achieve that,” Roma director Walter Sabatini has told reporters.
Does that mean Arsenal are hard-nosed negotiators? That would come as a bit of a surprise, though it is highly unlikely the club would allow Szczesny to leave on the cheap.
“In any case, Roma are already covered in that role for next season. Who did we get? I will never tell you that,” Sabatini added.
So Roma already have a contingency plan and Szczesny already faces competition should his stay in Rome be extended?
Speaking (writing) with my heart over my head, I hope Szczesny returns. He’s a hugely talented goalkeeper and Arsenal clearly means a lot to him. Hopefully he can come back to London to give Čech some real competition, the Pole may even rise to the challenge.
At 33 you can’t totally rely on the form and fitness of Čech to continue, and in Szczesny Arsenal already have a very good goalkeeper waiting for a chance to regain the number one shirt.