According to the latest reports from the Daily Star and TRANSFERmarketWEB, Arsenal are set to loan out Polish goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny to Roma for the 2016/17 season, and it might not be such a bad move.
Szczesny joined Roma on a season-long loan deal in July 2015 after the Polish international became the third choice option for the Gooners between the sticks.
The 26 year old managed to cement his place in the first team at Roma, and proceeded to make 42 appearances for the Italian side, helping them achieve a third place finish in the Serie A. Szczesny, who expressed his enjoyment for being coached by Roma manager Luciano Spalletti in his comments to Italian newspaper IL Tempo, appears set to extend his spell at the Stadio Olimpico for the upcoming season and the deal looks to best suit all parties.
Roma of course are set to retain the services of a talented goalkeeper without paying a transfer fee and his full wages, whilst Szczesny will get regular playing time at a top club which he could not currently replicate at the Emirates stadium, and will undoubtedly improve as a goalkeeper as a result.
Arsenal understandably continue to favour the services of world class goalkeeper Petr Cech, yet they do need an option for the future, and the loan extension gives Arsenal more time to decide if Szczesny is the right man for the job.
His talent has always been evident, but he has always been troubled by his mental errors, which has both cost Arsenal in the past and enabled the emergence of David Ospina as the first choice goalkeeper.
Szczesny has an almost paradoxical ability as a shot-stopper, yet he continued to commit cardinal sins for a goalkeeper in his time at Arsenal.
This is perhaps a consequence of his age and his complacency which derives from his tenure as the Arsenal number one for so long. Even when he was given chances following Ospina’s arrival, he seemed to squander his opportunities and just generally appeared to be lacking the mental composure to regain his place as the first choice keeper for Arsenal.
Arsenal are certainly hoping that through excellent coaching and from greater levels of experience, Szczesny will be able to eradicate the errors in his game.
The signs are there that he could eventually become a title-winning option for Arsenal in goal, especially with his athletic ability and his strength in both aerial and one-on-one situations, but only time will tell as to whether he is capable of inheriting Cech’s role as Arsenal number one in the mind of Arsene Wenger and the Arsenal loyalists.