- Age: 25
- Appearances: 21
- Debut: September 22nd, 2009
- Fresh Arsenal Season Rating: 5/10
Moment of the Season: FA Cup final – Szczesny showed us what he can do again, looking confident in goal and keeping a clean sheet at Wembley. It was the performance he needed to show Wenger he is not out of the woods just yet.
Current Value: £12million
Potential Value: £18million
Wojiech Szczesny is one of the many players who understands what it means to be an Arsenal player. Coming through the ranks of the Gunners academy, the Polish shot-stopper has been at the club for nearly ten years, and has had his fair share of ups and downs since establishing the number 1 role.
Szczesny made his debut in a 1-0 loss to Manchester United, and at the age of just 19 made a case for a starting place after both Manuel Almunia and Lukas Fabianski were suffering through injury. Since then he has made 132 appearances for the Gunners and under the management of Arsene Wenger has publicly vowed to stay at the club for as long as he can.
It’s been a difficult season for the Polish international, and after a series of poor performances over the Christmas period, he was dropped to the bench in favour of David Ospina. The deciding game was the 2-0 loss to Southampton, and since then Szczesny has only featured in the FA Cup, which included the 4-0 victory in the final, where he was barely active.
Things haven’t been easy off the pitch for Szczesny, who has had to deal with plenty of public criticism from his father, who has heaped negativity on Arsene Wenger on multiple occasions. However, in May 2015 the goalkeeper made a statement on Facebook to ensure he was in no way connected to the comments made by his father, ending all speculation that he could be heading out of the Gunners this summer.
Szczesny will now aim to retain the starting position between the sticks, and competition from Ospina will be more intense than ever over the pre-season tournaments. Transfer rumours have also linked Arsenal with a move for a world-class goalkeeper, so Szczesny could be in for a tough time next year.