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Thoughts on Szczesny’s Potential Move to Juventus

Image result for szczesny save roma

After seven seasons and 153 games for Arsenal, which included a Golden Glove, Wojciech Szczesny fell out of favor following the arrival of legendary goalie, Petr Cech, from Chelsea and he was farmed out to AS Roma to continue his footballing education. After amassing 81 games in two full seasons with the Italian giants, which also included a Serie A Golden Glove, Szczesny time in Rome was up and he was one of those players that needed to get his future sorted out with the club this summer.

The Polish shot stopper has just one year on his contract, and that’s the point where players have better bargaining power on their futures when it comes to transfers and contract negotiations. With Cech, David Ospina and Emiliano Martinez still in Arsenal’s ranks, it was evident that Arsene Wenger would be the person to make the final decision in that department, as the Gunners are fully stocked.

Sky Sports has reported that Juventus has reached a deal with Arsenal to sign Szczesny for about £14m. Apparently, the initial fee is £12.2m but there are some add-ons to the deal that makes it £14m in total. Juventus have also agreed personal terms with the player, which is believed to be about £3.5m a year. With the iconic goalie, Gianluigi Buffon, 39, having one more year left on his deal before he retires, Szczesny will be his understudy for one season before he hangs his boots in 2018.

I feel it’s definitely a good deal for the player and the club but it’s really sad to see how Szczesny fell from grace at Arsenal. This was a keeper that successfully saw out the threats of Manuel Almunia and Lukasz Fabianski but his shortcomings became glaring, probably due to cockiness and he lost his place in the team to David Ospina. The signing of Petr Cech was a rather opportunistic one, as the Czech goalie didn’t want to play second fiddle to the emerging Thibaut Courtois, and it was evident that he was going to be Arsenal’s first choice goalie when he arrived.

Many thought that Ospina was going to be shipped out to accommodate Cech and Szczesny but football is a surprising sport, and a goalie with so much potential and who was also loved by the fans was shipped away with minimal fuss by the club. I watched him closely in the Serie A and I must say he really impressed with Roma, raking in those clean sheets and putting up great performances, that has certainly caught the eyes of Max Allegri and Juventus, to the point they have made things official.

I really liked Szczesny and thought he would be our #1 for many years to come, but the reality of the situation is that he’s moving on to a really good side and I can only wish him the very best in his future endeavors. With Juventus, Szczesny will add more trophies to his current cabinet that has two FA Cups (2013/14, 2104/15) and one Community Shield (2014).


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Viking SK Preview and Szczesny Joins Roma on Loan

I’m sure the players must be jet-lagged from all the travelling but it’s going to be a nice Scandanavian adventure for Arsene Wenger and his team before preparations get underway for the start of the new campaign. When I saw pictures of Alexis Sanchez’s ankle after the Copa America, I thought he was going to be out for a long while but seeing pictures of him training with the squad made me really happy. The blonde Welsh Jesus, Aaron Ramsey, is also back after his holidays and I’m sure he can’t wait to hit the ground running. Ramsey had such amazing tournament in the Euros, and we would be hoping he carries that form into the new campaign.

Arsenal will play Viking FK tonight in their famous Viking Stadion. I really don’t know much about them and the only time Arsenal locked horns with Norwegian opposition was against Rosenborg SK, where Cesc Fabregas became the club’s youngest scorer or so. They have some pedigree, winning the  Norwegian Tippeligaen eight times with the last coming as far back as 1991.

I would expect the game to be a decent run out for the lads and I’m really looking forward to seeing Alexis and Ramsey in action. Rob Holding is one player that has impressed massively in preseason and he would be hoping to put up another virtuoso performance, while Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain would want to build on what he has a fantastic start to his campaign.

There is going to be a live stream on the official site, so gear yourselves up, if you may miss the game live.

To team news, I don’t think there would be any major changes to the squad but I would expect the usual substitutions from the gaffer. I’m no Wenger, but I’d expect a lineup like this…

Arsenal 4-2-3-1 football formation

Elsewhere, the club has confirmed that one of its favorite sons, Wojciech Szczesny, has returned to AS Roma for a second loan spell. Unlike last season where Szczesny didn’t have much competition for veterans, Bogdan Lobont and Morgan de Sanctis, Roma has signed Alisson from Internacional so it’s going to be very interesting to see how things pan out for Arsenal’s pole. I’ve also learned that a fee of 16m has been included in the loan contract, which gives Roma an option to buy, if Szczesny impresses.

That would be quite unfortunate if he’s eventually sold after two loan spells with the Italian outfit but he’d have himself to blame because he was heralded as the #1 for years to come but a lot of factors not worth mentioning caused things to go downhill for him at North London. With Petr Cech and David Ospina, Arsenal have the adequate quality they need in goal.

I wish Szczesny the very best in his second stint with the Italian giants.


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Arsenal to Agree Loan Extension for Wojciech Szczesny

The goalkeeping situation at the club was one conundrum for Arsene Wenger at the start of the season. Petr Cech’s arrival last season saw Wojciech Szczesny loaned out to AS Roma, as David Ospina dropped to the role of Cech’s deputy. It was a successful debut campaign by Cech’s fair standards, as his 16 clean sheets in the Premier League saw him win the Golden Glove award for the second time in three seasons.

With the legendary Czech goalie retiring from international football, he was shifting his focus to club football, which ultimately means that he would be the custodian between Arsenal’s sticks for years to come. This meant that Wenger had to sort out the player that would serve as Cech’s #2 in the new campaign, as Szczesny returned from his spell at Roma, while David Ospina is still on holidays after a great bronze-winning campaign with Colombia at the recently concluded Copa America.

According to Forza Italian Football, Arsenal is set to agree a loan extension with Roma over the services of the Polish shot stopper. Szczesny enjoyed a good Champions League qualification campaign with Roma, making 42 appearances (34 in Serie A) and claiming eight clean sheets. He averaged 2.09 saves per game, made about 26% punches, a distribution success of 72% and an outstanding 99% claim success, which was one of the best in the league. All stats via Squawka.

It’s also believed that Arsenal and Roma would split Szczesny’s €3 million-a-year contract evenly, even though that contract is scheduled to expire in 2018.

I wish Szczesny the best in this loan spell, in his bid to continue playing first-team football consistently.


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