With David Ospina said to be in Turkey about to sign for Fenerbahce, it’s more important than ever that Arsenal keep hold of Wojciech Szczesny.
Woj has been on loan at Roma for two years. While there, he’s turned 27, and is quickly approaching the prime age to step forward into that number one spot in the Arsenal team.
The Poland international has kept 23 cleans sheets while away in Italy, 14 of which came just this season, and has only conceded an average of a goal a game.
Woj was the second-best rated goalkeeper in Serie A this season, according to Squawka. Even above the likes of Gigi Buffon and Pepe Reina.
On average, he makes 2.45 saves a game, has a 91% claim success and a distribution success rate of 80%. To put that into perspective, Cech’s is 64%, although his claim success rate is 99%.
Woj saved two penalties this season compared to Cech’s big, fat zero.
The young goalkeeper has matured, gained vital experience at the top level, and has made it clear that the next stage for him in his career is to become number one at another club.
It’s time for him to come home.
The fans need a player they genuinely like and identify with to return to north London. Someone who’s come through the academy and really understands what it means to play for Arsenal.
While Petr Cech will always be Petr Cech, he’s 35 now and although he improved as the season went on, he’s far from the pair of safe hands he used to be.
It’s time for Arsene Wenger to at least be open to Woj fighting for that number one spot and not letting Cech’s age dictate his team sheet rather than form.
Thankfully, Ospina is leaving, which makes it more likely that the club will do their best to hold onto Woj. While his heart appears to be in the right place, he’s just not good enough for Arsenal and, as a fan, I’d be furious if his place in the squad meant that Woj signed for another club.
The only thing Arsenal can do right now is reassure Woj that he will get the chance to fight for the number one shirt. I’m sure that the 27-year-old isn’t the type of player who just wants to be able to walk into a team and automatically be handed it. However, he wants the chance.
Napoli and more recently Juventus have both been linked with the shot-stopper with the latter reportedly willing to fork out £13.8m but surely Arsenal must realise that Woj is the future and that’s worth so much more.
Given the choice between first team football at Napoli, Juve and Arsenal, it would always be Arsenal. Let’s not put him in a position where he has to pick between sitting on the bench in north London again, right where he was two years ago, to playing week in, week out elsewhere.
It’d be such a waste if the Gunners spent two years loaning out a player just so another club can reap the obvious benefits.