Connect in the back of the net

Two gaffes against Southampton in the Premier League and the subsequent cigarette controversy nudged Wojciech Szczesny to second-string, with David Ospina striking the Arsenal faithful as a more reliable option.

The arrival of Petr Cech in the following summer ensured that Arsene Wenger shipped him to Roma on loan in the very transfer window.


Has the Roma loan spell helped him improve?

The Stadio Olimpico outfit have apparently passed up the option to sign him permanently for a meagre £5 million, meaning the future of the Polish goalkeeper will again be up in the air next summer. Touted to reach the David Seaman heights after usurping Manuel Almunia at a tender age of 20, his Arsenal future is now in jeopardy.

Despite his last-minute heroics against Juventus, Sassuolo and Sampdoria keeping the Champions League hopes of the Giallorossi alive, he has failed to convince Luciano Spalletti to deploy him between the sticks for Roma goal next season. Akin to his Arsenal stint, he has been exhibiting glimpses of brilliance followed by judgmental errors that outweigh his contributions.

The 25-year-old has proved to be a skillful goalkeeper, but his consistency always undermines his credentials as a first choice goalkeeper for a Champions League club.

Though he currently starts every game for the Rome club, Roma have lined up Alisson Becker as his replacement next season whilst they are reportedly scouting Paris Saint-Germain wantaway ‘keeper Salvatore Sirigu.


Does Wojciech Szczesny have an Arsenal future?

Fans may fondly remember him for announcing that he would feature between the sticks for Arsenal for ten consecutive seasons after cementing his place in the starting eleven, but his lack of improvement might make his desire a distant dream.

With Emiliano Martinez also returning to Emirates Stadium after his impressive Wolverhampton Wanderers loan spell next season, he ought to embark on a battle to become a Petr Cech understudy, which will be more difficult than his breakthrough into first-team scene in 2010/2011.

Arsene Wenger has been heaping praise on David Ospina, despite not offering him minutes. Odds are that the former Nice goalkeeper may be on the lookout for new employers next season should the manager fail to guarantee him considerable playing time next season – though the manager may intend to play safe by sanctioning a loan deal.


Learning from Cech or moving to Everton

On the other hand, the Pole will likely cherish the prospect of learning the trade from the 33-year-old Arsenal custodian. Provided goalkeepers peak around 30, mentoring from the Czech Republic international next season could be decisive in his progress.

Should he improve his kicks, distribution, reactions and learn to be levelheaded, Arsenal will ostensibly have a proper Petr Cech replacement in their academy product.

However, if his progress stalls, Arsenal may be tempted to accept a potential bid from Everton in the summer.


Written by Praveen Paramasivam

Follow Praveen on Twitter @49Praveen

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