First published: 6th November, 2015, 7:27 PM
By Arsenal correspondent Tony Hughes
Wojciech Szczesny has admitted that Arsene Wenger had no choice but to replace him with Petr Cech in the summer.
The Czech international was signed from Chelsea for £11million and then Szczesny was then loaned out to Roma for the season.
“I’m not stupid – if you buy one of the world’s best goalkeepers it’s not to keep him on the bench,” the Polish goalkeeper told futbolfejs.pl in an in-depth interview. “I actually wanted to stay and challenge him for the spot but after a conversation with Wenger it was obvious that I should be looking for new opportunities.”
Asked if Wenger had to buy Cech or could have kept faith in him, Szczesny said: “Are you joking? For that little money? Of course he had to.
“If someone offered him Cristiano Ronaldo for a good price, he would have to buy him. The manager has to think about the club and its fortune.
“Why would Wenger not do it? Because Wojciech Szczesny, who grew up at the club, is here? Be serious here – Wenger has to consider the overall good of the club first.”
Football Insider revealed on Monday that Arsenal are convinced that Szczesny still has a future at the club even though Cech’s signing has paid dividends and Wenger claimed today the 33-year-old could play at the top level for another five years.
Nevertheless, Wenger has no plans to sell the Pole next summer even though Petr Cech is only in the first year of a three-year contract.
Szczesny has developed something of a reputation as a trouble-maker, and was dropped last January after being caught smoking in the showers following a defeat to Southampton. Former Juventus goalkeeper Stefano Tacconi recently told Gazetta TV that the 25-year-old is an “uncontrollable lunatic” who is “completely mad”.
But the Pole insists that he never caused a fuss when he lost his place at Arsenal, first to David Ospina and then Cech.
“I never caused problems in the dressing room when I was dropped,” he said. “Ask any coach that I have worked with.
“Arsene Wenger – with whom I worked for nine years – will confirm that I never caused any difficulties. I made some youthful mistakes, sometimes lacked professionalism but I have never been disrespectful towards the manager and my team-mates.
“I am indebted to Wenger not only for my professional career but also how my life has developed. I have a great deal of respect for him. You can’t possibly respect him more than I do. Wenger shaped me as a footballer but most importantly as a man.
“Can I complain that he dropped me when I played poorly? And I did play poorly at the time. Ospina took my place and he started very well – there was no reason to change that.
“Arsenal is in my heart and I want the club to be successful. Without me in the squad? It’s a pity.”