By Matt Farr
AS Roma would hvae to pay £16million to land Wojciech Szczesny on a permanent deal – according to a report.
The 26-year-old goalkeeper is currently on loan at the Italian club from Arsenal until the end of the season, and according to Italian outlet Corriere dello Sport, the Italians would like to make the move permanent, despite spending £7m on Allison in the summer.
Szczesny lost his place in the Arsenal first-team following the arrival of Petr Cech in 2015 after making 181 appearances for the club, and has since spent his time on loan at Stadio Olimpico.
Initially signed on a season-long deal, the Poland international impressed during his debut season in Serie A, keeping nine clean-sheets from 42 appearances in all competitions.
His displays earned him an extended stay in Rome, and he agreed to re-join the club last summer on another season-long deal.
He has performed much better this term, boasting seven clean-sheets already from just 20 appearances, boasting one of the best defensive records in Serie A this season.
From Roma’s last five league matches, Szczesny has conceded just two goals.
A return to Arsenal at the end of the campaign remains a likely prospect for the goalkeeper, but given the presence of Cech, his role would be uncertain; whereas at Roma, he has already established himself as No.1.
His contract has just 18 months left to run on it at the Emirates, and having not yet been offered an extension, it remains to be seen how Szczesny fits into Arsene Wenger’s long-term plans.
Football Insider verdict
It is not clear what the future holds for Szczesny at Arsenal. The Polish goalkeeper was initially sent out on loan as a learning experience, to develop into a goalkeeper Arsenal could rely on as their no.1 in future. However, Petr Cech has since reigned at the Emirates, and is not likely to make way for Szczesny, should he return. Cech is getting old, but he has still been better than any of Arsenal’s other goalkeepers for many years and that could count against the Polish stopper. Szczesny could potentially be the long-term replacement for Cech that the Gunners may be looking for, but until Arsenal give him a run in their own team, they will not know. As it stands, they seem to be getting by just fine without him. If AS Roma do offer them £16million though, it’s an offer they surely wouldn’t be able to refuse.
In other Arsenal news, the Gunners are eyeing a lower league star who has drawn comparison to Tyrone Mings.