The agent of Arsenal keeper Wojciech Szczesny, on loan at Roma the past two seasons, denied in a Polish newspaper that his player has agreed to a deal with Italian champions Juventus regarding a move this summer, and that any decision made regarding his future will be made once Szczesny has a discussion with Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger.
With David Ospina set to leave the club this transfer window, Arsenal will be seeking to add another experienced keeper - especially with Petr Cech approaching the final years of his storied career. The natural, logical assumption is that Szczesny comes back from his two-year Italian sabbatical a better, mature player than the one that saw his time with Arsenal intereupted at the youthful age of 25, but it’s appearing Wenger is hesitant - for reasons probably known, but more complex than what’s visible to fans - to welcome the Polish keeper back with open arms.
Szczesny famously fell out of favor with Wenger following a 2-0 loss on the first calendar day of 2015 away at Southampton, where he was subsequently fined £20,000 for smoking a cigarette in the changing room’s showers after the match. He only appeared for the club one more time - the FA Cup final versus Aston Villa - before heading out on the first of his two loan spells.
On the surface it appears extremely petty and immature (ironic, given the frequent criticisms of Szczesny) of Wenger to abandon a player that arrived at the Arsenal academy when he was 16 years old simply for smoking a heater following a rough performance on the pitch - something that Jack Wilshere has been photographed partaking in during social situations so many times in the past. Therefore the only explanation is that there must be deeper-seated, long-standing issues between the player and manager, or perhaps the player and club, to continue keeping Szczesny - who led Serie A in clean sheets this past season - at length.
Regardless of Szczesny’s agent’s comments, that doesn’t mean Arsenal and Juventus have not discussed what a transfer fee would look like, merely that Szczesny has not agreed to a deal with Juventus.
Based on what we’ve all seen the past 24 months, today’s bit of news doesn’t mean a whole lot and shouldn’t make supporters of Szczesny’s eventual return home feel any better. Having a player of his talent at the club is much better than not, but it’s still looking extremely likely Szczesny moves on - whether it’s to Juventus, or elsewhere.