Luciano Spalletti has returned to the AS Roma hot seat, but the managerial switch has not left Wojciech Szczesny out in the cold.
The Italian manager has returned to Italy’s capital to take Rudi Garcia’s job, and had a decision to make in goal upon his return. Wojciech Szczesny, on loan from Arsenal, has been number one this season with Morgan De Sanctis, who played for Spalletti at Udinese from 2002-2005 has been on the bench.
Taking charge of his first Roma game of the season at the weekend, Spalletti selected Szczesny in goal and the Pole would have had a clean sheet were it not for a Giampaolo Pazzini penalty after an hour.
Selecting the on-loan Arsenal man seemed to be a sign that he will remain first choice, and reports coming out of Italy now say Spalletti is so keen on him that Roma will attempt to extend his loan so he stays there next season. Director of football Walter Sabatini has accepted that Arsenal are unlikely to sell the goalkeeper, but is an admirer of him. According to Gazzetta dello Sport, Roma accept that Szczesny has his eyes on a return to Arsenal but also believe he wants to return as number one. With Petr Čech in superb form, that’s unlikely.
Čech is 33 but showing no signs of slowing down, so Szczesny may well be interested in another loan spell next season in order to play regular football. However, Arsenal may not be so keen on a deal. It looks certain that Colombian David Ospina doesn’t have a future with the Gunners, so Szczesny would be required as Petr Čech’s back up next year unless Arsenal signed someone else or trusted Emiliano Martinez (currently on loan at Wolves) with the role.
After a few rocky moments in Rome it’s encouraging to hear that Szczesny has impressed enough that he is wanted. He’s hugely talented and, with any luck, Arsenal won’t have to worry about replacing Čech in a few years time.