Reports from Italy are suggesting that Roma are on the verge of signing goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny from Arsenal. Il Tempo claims that the Italian club has already agreed personal terms with the 25-year-old Gunner and are now working to finalize a transfer fee with the Premier League club. Speculation of a possible switch has also been fueled by the fact that Szczesny has “followed” Roma’s official page and multiple Giallorossi players on Instagram.
It was previously expected that the Gunners would sell Colombian keeper David Ospina following the arrival of former Chelsea star Petr Cech. While there has certainly been interest in the 26-year-old Ospina, the Gunners would be making the correct decision in retaining the Colombian over Szczesny as backup to Cech.
Ospina collected more clean sheets, saves, punches, catches, and fewer errors leading to goals than his fellow teammate during league play last season.
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Szczesny was once thought of as the long-term solution to manager Arsene Wenger’s goalkeeping problem. The Poland international arrived to north London from Legia Warsaw in 2006 as a youth player. Szczesny made his Premier League debut at the age of 20, following an injury crisis to the team’s top two keepers at the time (Manuel Almunia and fellow Poland international, Lukas Fabianski).
While the Gunners lost Szczesny’s first league match 1-0 to Manchester United, the youngster went on to start 15 Premier League matches during his first season as a senior Arsenal player, and also every league match of the 2011-12 season as well.
However, after two up-and-down seasons as Arsenal’s number one keeper between the sticks, the Gunners brought in Ospina last summer from French club Nice. Despite the fact that the Colombian was thought to be purchased as a backup to Szczesny, Ospina took over the reins in January, starting the final 18 Premier League matches of the season.
Although Ospina benefited from a fit and healthy Gunner defense, while Szczesny didn’t, Ospina played exceptionally well over the latter part of the 2014-15 campaign. The Colombian helped lead the Gunners from sixth place to third in the table, only recording two defeats in his 18 league matches.
Another benefit from keeping Ospina rather than Szczesny would be the difference in the salaries of the two players. The Gunners would potentially save around £1.3 million per year if they chose to sell Szczesny instead of Ospina.
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