Wenger and Wilson praise Szczesny

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Former Arsenal goalkeeper Bob Wilson says Wojciech Szczesny's role in the Gunners first-team is as important as top scorer Robin Van Persie.

With 13 Barclays Premier League goals this season, Van Persie has already proven himself to be a move than able match-winner for Arsene Wenger's side.

However, while the Dutchman was misfiring at the start of the season, Szczesny was helping to add some respectability to an otherwise woeful start to the season for the north Londoners.

"He becomes as valuable in a way as Robin van Persie, and in some ways more valuable," said Wilson, a double winner with the club in 1970/71.

"Because any side that's going to win things needs a solid spine. And it's fair to say that any side that wins the title, you will generally say their goalkeeper has been the most consistent keeper in that season."

Szczesny's crowning moment of the season came in the UEFA Champions League qualifier, when his penalty save from Udinese's Antonio Di Natale swung the tie back in Arsenal's favour.

The Pole also turned out a fine display against Tottenham Hotspur, saving brilliantly from former Gunner Emmanuel Adebayor, and his manager Wenger believes he has all the attributes to make a classy stopper.

"Wojciech is a quiet boy usually, you know," he said. "But he has something that is difficult to explain. Some keepers have that, some do not. That's what you call presence, charisma, confidence. It must be a mixture of all that.

"He is focused every day, you never think he is a comedian when you watch him practice. But you have to be careful as well because people want a quick image of you and it's sometimes a superficial one.

"He is a deep thinker, you do not play at this level and make the decisions he makes if you do not think about the game."

Premier League
Wojciech Szczesny

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