Arsene Wenger believes that Wojciech Szczesny has proved that he has the quality to play at the highest level for Arsenal and tipped the young Polish international to carry on improving with experience.
The 20-year-old goalkeeper has come to prominence in 2011, taking over as the club’s first choice stopper since January after an injury to Lukasz Fabianski, and not looking back since.
Twice voted the club’s Player of the Month already this season, despite conceding a bundle of goals in matches against both Manchester United and Blackburn, the Academy graduate has now been topped for a long future at the top level.
Speaking to Arsenal Player in the aftermath of a first Champions League clean sheet away from home in over three years, Wenger assessed Szczesny’s development.
“It’s difficult to say how much [he has got better], but what is for sure is that he has improved,” stated the Frenchman.
“Especially in his confidence, his decision making, his determination to come for crosses, his calmness and the way he is commanding.
“Many aspects of his game he has improved and I expect him to improve further. There is a lot more to come, he is a young goalkeeper. I believe he has convinced people that he has the level to play for Arsenal Football Club.”
While Szczesny is currently the club’s overwhelming preference to start between the sticks at the Emirates, Wenger stressed that his other options were also worthy candidates for consideration.
“[Lukasz] Fabianski and [Vito] Mannone also have the level to do that, so there is good competition going on there.”
While Szczesny’s impressive performances in goal have been rightly lauded, Wenger additionally believes that improvements in his squad’s defensive quality have helped shake off early season nerves.
“I feel we look more determined and less shaky. I do not feel the vibes of fear going through us at set pieces, there is a good determination.
“We are improving, although there is still some jobs to do there. There is a definite improvement since the start of the season.”