After his mistakes outweighed his goalkeeping talent and skill, Wojciech Szczesny was the casualty of Arsenal’s only summer transfer window addition.
Arsene Wenger brought in Petr Cech from Chelsea, sliding the Blues legend into the starting spot immediately, which left Szczesny on the outside looking in. In turn, the Gunners sent the 25-year-old on loan to Roma, where he has started all games he’s been fit to do so, but it’s not enough.
Szczesny is enjoying his time in Italy, but with his future still wide open – as is the case with many experienced players on loan – he hopes all roads lead back to the Emirates.
“If a year ago someone had told me that I would go to Rome I would have thought it was impossible,” Szczesny told Sky Sport Italia. “I have been with Arsenal all my life and, I do not hide it, that is still my dream. For me it is like a family, I owe so much to those people that if I were to be given a chance I would play for them. The fans here [at Roma] have always been great, I do not know what will happen. Nine months is a long time in football, things can change from week to week.”
Szczesny had an up and down tenure with the Gunners, and while he often flashed moments of brilliance on the field, he was prone to ugly mistakes both on and off the field that eventually served to wear out his welcome at the Emirates. But at just 25 years old, he still has room to grow in the goalkeeping field, and to that point, Roma is just a point off the top of Serie A, although their defensive record could use improvement with more goals allowed than any other team in the table’s top five.
There is a long way to go before the end of Szczesny’s loan spell, and plenty of things could happen, from title challenge to European success to league collapse to injury to controversy. But for now, it’s clear where his head sits: he’s a Gunner through and through.