Does Arsenal's interest in Victor Valdes spell the end for Szczesny?

The Barcelona keeper could be on his way to Arsenal this summer in a move that would be excellent business for the club, but also indicate a loss of confidence in their Polish keeper.

As Arsenal gear up for Bayern Munich with Blackburn's shock FA Cup win at the Emirates meaning the Champions League is the club's last chance of a trophy this season, their fans will already be looking to the summer transfer window as a vital chance to improve the squad.

There will be hopes that their side will be looking to bring in David Villa from Barcelona, but the current rumours suggest that it is Victor Valdes who is more likely to make the move from Catalonia to North London.

This would be a major coup for the club, as whilst Valdes has sometimes been overshadowed by the achievements of Barcelona’s outfield players and indeed Iker Casillas, he is a top quality keeper, and a definite improvement on Szczesny.

There has been an argument that Szczesny has suffered from a lack of competition at Arsenal, but in the extended spell he has had as the club’s number one, he has never convinced as someone able to consistently perform at the top level. On occasion the young Pole can look brilliant, but his outstanding performances are few and far between, and the level he plays at most frequently is not good enough for a Champions League club.

A move for Valdes would then be a excellent signing for Arsenal, and would also indicate that Wenger, who sometimes is criticised for showing too much faith in underperforming players, is prepared to replace those who don’t live up to the level the club requires. Szczesny is still young, and could be loaned out to another team perhaps even in the Premier League to give him a chance to develop. If he then started playing more consistently Arsenal would have a fine long term replacement for Valdes.

In the meantime Arsenal would have a truly top class experienced keeper in their side, and that could be a major boost to their shaky defence. After a quiet January, Arsenal will need some well judged additions this summer however they finish this season, and bringing in Valdes would be a fine place to start.

image: © Ronnie Macdonald

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