Wojciech Szczesny to return to Arsenal at the end of the season and will be replaced by Lukasz Skorupski at Roma

Corriere dello Sport (Guido D’Ubaldo) At the end of the season Roma will exchange their Polish goalkeepers. Szczesny will go back to Arsenal and after proving his worth in his second season with the Giallorossi will take Cech’s place, who will no longer be first choice despite being under contract with the Gunners until June 2019. In August, Arsenal set Roma’s option to buy Szczesny at €16 million, as well as making them pay nearly all his salary. The Giallorossi will never pay that amount to buy him permanently, and the keeper himself has always considered Rome to be a temporary home and is convinced he can one day go back to London to be first choice. A discussion with Wenger before he left for Italy gave him added hope.

He will be a big loss for Roma, because this season Szczesny has once again shown himself to be an excellent keeper and Spalletti has complete confidence in him. He has often been heavily involved in recent games, and he has seen off the challenge to the number 1 shirt from Alisson (he has played every game in the league, leaving his Brazilian team-mate to only play in the Europa League). But Roma also believe in Alisson, they have made a big investment in him and consider him to be their first choice keeper in the future.

Skorupski will return at the end of the season to fill the gap left by Szczesny, having improved greatly during his two seasons at Empoli: two weeks ago he kept Roma out in the draw at the Castellani thanks to some incredible saves. In August, Skorupski rejoined Empoli on loan, and the clubs will have to decide what to do at the end of the season. Empoli will get a percentage when Roma sell the Polish keeper, who has a number of admirers both in Italy and abroad. Roma would prefer to bring him back to Trigoria though in order to have two first choice keepers able to play at any time in any competition, as they did at the start of this season with Alisson and Szczesny.

However, before Szczesny goes back to London, he wants to enjoy some success with Roma. “Juventus are one of the best teams in Serie A, but Roma are among the teams that can hurt them. Everyone will drop points in the league like we have, and of course it would be better if we didn’t, but I don’t think that the Bianconeri are that much better than we are.” Wojciech Szczesny clearly believes in Roma, as they draw closer to the showdown at the Juventus Stadium on 17th December. The Pole has consolidated his position as first choice, even though Sabatini promised Alisson that he would be first choice when he was signed. But when the former sporting director signed him, he didn’t know that Spalletti was about to ask him to bring back Szczesny at any cost. He also knows that he needs to defend his status as first choice. “I’m happy with how things are going, even though things can change from one day to the next in football. I have a good relationship with Alisson, he’s a good lad and, most of all, a great keeper, Brazil’s first choice.” The fans think highly of him and aren’t happy about the idea of losing him. “I’ve been loving my time in Rome, I’ve never felt so good physically before in my whole career. I’m learning a lot and I’m not wasting my time.” He lost his position as first choice in London, but when he goes back Wenger will have to thank Roma for what they have done.

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