Wojciech Szczesny Is Already ‘One of the Best’, Arsene Wenger Declares

Wojciech Szczesny Is Already 'One of the Best', Arsene Wenger DeclaresArsene Wenger thinks Wojciech Szczesny is already one the Premier League's top goalkeepers, and backs him to continue improving.

Arsenal.com reports the Gunners' manager sees a bright future for a player who has less than one full season as the club's starter.

The Polish shot-stopper left his country for North London in 2006 at the age of 15. After graduating from Arsenal's academy, he spent much of the 2009-10 season on loan at Brentford, where he gained valuable game-experience playing in League One. He could have let his original Arsenal contract expire at the end of last season, but Wenger's assurances over playing opportunities convinced him to sign a new deal.

Wenger struggled to find a suitable replacement for Jens Lehman following the 2007-08 season, and the Gunners' results were as erratic as the performances of Manuel Almunia and Lukas Fabianksi. He resisted calls to buy an experienced goalkeeper because he believed Szczesny had the potential to match the German's international's feats.

Szczesny made his first Premier League start on Dec. 13, 2010, and has been a mainstay in goal ever since.

"He is one of the best already in his first season [in the starting lineup]," Wenger said. "He has, like the team I must say, a promising future. We are confident that if he keeps his attitude and determination to do well he can be one of the best.

"I wouldn't like to put too much pressure on him. My secret belief is that he shouldn't set any limitations on his progress and personally I am confident that he can let other people judge how good he is.

The 21-year-old has become one of Arsenal's leaders in a short period of time. He organizes his defense with a strong and confident voice that is unexpected of a player of his age and is a key figure in the reconstructed Arsenal team. 

Wenger thinks Szczesny will continue to improve because of his determination to improve. He has already supplanted Fabianski as the starting goalkeeper for club and country. He hopes to establish his reputation as as one of the world's best when his country co-hosts this summer's European Championships.

"I have shown with my decisions that I am a great believer in Wojciech," Wenger added. "The rest, how far he can go, I wouldn't like to predict. That is what a career is all about.

"I believe that as soon as you lose that sharpness to improve you are in trouble, no matter how young you are. That's why I would just say, 'keep your attitude and you will have a bright future'."

Photo via Flickr/Fid aka Theo

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