Wojciech Szczesny has confirmed he has a healthy relationship with Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger, despite the fact the Pole lost his status as regular first-team stopper after the loss to Southampton on New Year’s Day this year.
Szczesny’s fortunes changed dramatically when Wenger axed his from the starting XI after a lacklustre showing against the Saints was followed by reports that he had been caught smoking in the shower, but he was able to save some face for the season by featuring in goal for Arsenal during their FA Cup final win over Aston Villa at the weekend.
Szczesny and Wenger
He may have been tipped to be replaced by a more established model this summer, but Szczesny has now sought to calm the waters in north London, claiming that his relationship with his manager is an extremely healthy one.
“Speaking honestly, it hasn't been quite as awful a time for me as it might have seemed from the outside,” Szczesny told Arsenal's official site.
“I’ve got a really good relationship with the boys in the squad as well as with the boss.
“I fully accept the boss' decisions, whatever they may be. Of course, it's understandable that your pride feels hurt and your ambition dented. That's only natural and to be expected.
Whether or not that will be enough to keep him in the number one spot at the Emirates Stadium remains to be seen, particularly as he’s still facing competition from David Ospina. Another new arrival would see three established ‘keepers at the club, and if Wenger spends money on an addition then fans can be sure he intends to play him.
To date Chelsea’s Petr Cech is the man most tabloids see becoming Arsenal’s new ‘keeper and if that’s the case Szczesny will have his work cut out for him in ensuring he remains in Wenger’s plans.
The Czech international is a far more assured option than either Szczesny or Ospina, and his experience when it comes to winning virtually all there is to win at club level should be enough to see him walk into the starting lineup at Arsenal.
Potential for the future
That said Szczesny does have age on his side and could yet develop into a leading Premier League figure if given the time.
What’s more likely is that he’ll end up having to prove himself at a new stomping ground when Wenger decides he’s invested enough time and effort into attempting to realise the potential, but the Gunners will need a good backup even if Cech arrives.
Whether or not that will be Szczesny or Ospina isn’t yet clear, although the fact that Wenger only signed the latter last summer is indicative of the idea that he wants to keep him for a while yet.
Arsenal fans, should Szczesny be kept by Wenger this season even if someone like Cech arrives? Should he be sold at the first opportunity? Let us know your thoughts in the comments box below.