Prior to the signing of Petr Cech in 2015, Polish international Wojciech Szczesny was seen to be future of Arsenal’s goalkeeping position.
He burst onto the scene at Old Trafford in 2010, making his Premier League debut after a loan spell at Brentford and it looked for a while as if the Gunners had unearthed a gem.
However, a few mistakes later and a controversial incident involving smoking cigarettes in the showers after losing to Southampton, Arsene Wenger saw fit to send the Pole out on loan to Roma.
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Cech was brought in and after one-year in the Spanish capital, Szczesny was keen on another. 2016/17 has been possibly the finest year of his career, excelling with the Serie A outfit.
He knew he had to leave north London in 2015 to get first-team football and the 27-year-old has revealed it was his best decision yet as a footballer.
Szczesny told the Guardian: “I could have stayed in an environment that was going negatively for me. Instead the opportunity that came gave me a fresh start.
“You get a new perspective. You get new coaches and influences. You learn new drills. You do new things.
“Now I am very happy that it happened, even if the first impression was that I might be out of Arsenal, which was very painful. Now I think it was probably the best thing that could have happened to me.”
The former Legia Warsaw shot-stopper knew he was stagnating at Arsenal but now, it seems as if he is at the peak of his powers.
He added: “The one thing I want to do is make sure I don’t stay still… I was quite still for five years – sometimes I played better, sometimes worse, sometimes phenomenal, sometimes rubbish.
“You take steps forwards and backwards. It is not very good for your head if you go up and down and up and down. I want to try to keep going up, with my quality and with my decisions that I make.
“I am 27, the best I have ever been, I still have room to improve and I want to make sure that room doesn’t stay empty. I want to go into that room. It feels like a big moment.”
It is unknown whether Wenger will look to bring back Szczesny next season but if he does, it will certainly provide better competition for Cech than David Ospina.
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