Wojciech Szczesny looks to be on the move in this window, having spent two successful years on loan at Roma. The 27-year-old Polish goalkeeper has had a stunning reversal of fortune since Arsene Wenger decided to bring in Petr Cech from Chelsea in the summer of 2015.
Deemed surplus to the club’s requirements, with David Ospina also in Arsenal’s roster, he was packed off to Roma in a 2-year-long loan deal. His form with the Italian side has alerted the Old Lady and the Pole could be in line to replace the ageing Gianluigi Buffon who probably still has a year left in him.
Meanwhile, Arsenal are set to lose David Ospina to Fenerbache in a £4m deal. Petr Cech is in the twilight of his career at 35 years. Brought in to replace Szczesny, he hasn’t been entirely convincing between the sticks. Post-Chelsea, his form has dipped abysmally to an extent that the outgoing Ospina was preferred over him in the FA Cup final against Chelsea, which Arsenal managed to win 2-1.
Szczesny, valued at £13m could be subject to a bid by Juventus in the coming week, and Arsene Wenger seems intent on cashing in on the goalkeeper. With only Cech, 24-year-old Emiliano Martinez and Ospina (awaiting a transfer), in Arsenal’s squad that flew off to Australia for pre-season, the Gunners fans would be hoping Arsene Wenger has a Goalkeeping target lined up to provide cover to Cech.
According to the Sun, Wenger has shortlisted Toulouse FC goalkeeper, Alban Lafont to compete for the No. 1 shirt with the Czech next season. All of 18 years, the Burkina Faso-born shot-stopper features for the French under-20 side.
The 67-year-old Frenchman is quietly confident that Lafont is good enough to play for Arsenal’s first team and could prove to be the long-term successor to Cech, who at 35 years isn’t getting any younger.
The rumours aren’t surprising given that Wenger has an affinity towards French internationals and with Ospina and Szczesny both on the way out; Martinez, although a good rotation option, doesn’t seem to fit the bill to compete against Cech for first team football, let alone start on a daily basis if Cech’s form curve remains downward sloping.
Arsenal were also being linked with Stephane Ruffier, of Saint Etienne and the 37-year-old Robert Green of Leeds. The rumours died down quickly though, with both goalkeepers being on the wrong side of 30.
Arsenal have been quite busy in the transfer window, surpassing their previous transfer record of £42.5m paid for Mesut Ozil, barely within 10 days into July, having unveiled Alexandre Lacazette in a £52.7m deal from Lyon and Sead Kolasinac from Schalke. It remains to be seen, with Szczesny Juventus-bound, if Arsenal are willing to splash the cash on a quality replacement.