By Italy correspondent Gianluigi Carrozzini
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Wojciech Szczesny has hit out at Arsene Wenger and his coaching staff by claiming he has learned more in four months under Roma manager Luciano Spalletti than he did in 10 years at Arsenal.
Szczesny aimed a stinging blow at the Gunners’ coaching methods as he spoke about his chances of returning to Roma next season.
The Arsenal academy graduate is on a season-long loan at Roma, who have an option to buy him at the end of the season.
There is a growing possibility that Szczesny will return to the Italian capital for a second consecutive season even though the Giallorossi have agreed a deal to sign Brazilian keeper Allison.
Szczesny has spoken warmly of Spalletti, while aiming a thinly veiled criticism of the methods of Wenger and Arsenal head goalkeeping coach Gerry Peyton.
“Spalletti highlights the importance of having good feet when playing football,” Szczesny said, as quoted by Italian publication Gazzetta. “One day we spent 45 minutes practicing just goal kicks.
“If I stay at Rome, I’ll continue to grow and if I return to Arsenal, I’ll treasure my experience in Italy, even though I’ve learned more in fourth months with Spalletti than I did in 10 years in England.”
Szczesny joined Arsenal as a 16-year-old and established himself in the first team at the age of 20 before joining Roma last summer when Petr Cech was signed for £11million from Chelsea.
Now aged 26, the Poland international has two years remaining on his Gunners contract but he has risked delivering a wedge between himself and his parent club with his comments.
Peyton has been the goalkeeping coach at Emirates Stadium for 13 years and has been a trusted member of Wenger’s backroom staff throughout Szczesny’s 10-year association with the London club.
Szczesny’s withering comments about the Arsenal coaching compare starkly with his views of Roma goalkeeping coach Guido Nanni.
“Nanni is a great professional and I like working with him because I am never bored,” Szczesny said, as quoted by Gazzetta. “We have a great friendship.
“If I took a step forward in my career, it’s because of him.”
The Pole is rated in the £10million bracket by Arsenal and the Londoners could cash in on him before he enters the final two years of his current deal.