Lukasz Fabianski has returned from exile in the reserves to the first team for Arsenal.
The Pole found himself third choice goalkeeper for the Gunners this season after sliding down the pecking behind his young compatriot Wojciech Szczesny and Italian Vito Mannone.
The 27 year old made not a single Premier League appearance for Arsenal last season after making 20 appearances in all competitions the season prior to that.
Now, ironically, nearing the end of his contract with the North Londoners manager Arsene Wenger has given the stopper a run of two consecutive starts against Bayern Munich at the Allianz Arena last week and at Swansea last weekend.
Fabianski kept two clean sheets – in fact the Gunners won both games 2-0 – and while all eyes were on Wenger’s defensive dilemma, Fabianski did more than just fill in for the dropped Szczesny.
With his contract up at the end of the season, I wonder whether a good run of form may convince the club to extend his contract or whether the Pole would even want to re-sign considering the miniscule amount of opportunities he’s been given in his 6 years of service – he’s made just 28 appearances in the Premier League, averaging little over 4 league starts per season.
Perhaps his impressive displays in the last two games are in fact his last ditch attempt to win potential suitors come this summer when he’ll be a free agent an finally be able to call the shots on his career.
He could command a higher wage due to the fact Arsenal won’t be paid a penny for him and his age makes him good value for any top tier European club due to his Champions League and international experience.
His CV actually looks pretty healthy, considering – he transferred from Legia Warsaw back in 2007 for £2 million and has since racked up 21 caps for his country.
He’s entering the peak years of any goalkeeper’s career and, if Arsenal don’t want him, I’m sure there are plenty of clubs who would have him – as their number one, no less.
In fact, now that I think about it, that probably explains his sudden burst of form – he’s realised the shop opens soon and with his recent performances you can bet your bottom dollar Lukasz Fabianski wants to be that doggy in the window.
image: © Ronnie Macdonald