Ospina is not 'my friend', says Szczesny

Arsenal goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny insists he won't be letting backup David Ospina take his number one jersey from him.

Arsenal goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny has little sympathy for backup David Ospina being stuck on the club’s bench, stating that the Colombian international is not his ‘friend’.

Following former understudy Lukasz Fabianksi’s summer departure for Swansea City, Ospina arrived from Ligue 1 side Nice for £3 million, with the ambition of pushing the Pole for the number one job.

However, while Szczesny admits to having enjoyed a friendly rivalry with his compatriot, he has still to strike up a rapport with his new teammate, and intends to keep him confined to the sidelines.

‘I feel confident of being No.1 but I know I can’t let myself play a few bad games,’ he told Polish newspaper Przeglad Sportowy.

‘I know Ospina’s ambitions don’t end at sitting on the bench and clapping his hands while watching me play.

‘He is a nice guy. In a sporting sense, he is a suitable player at a suitable club. But it’s easier for me just in one aspect: I do not feel sorry for him.

‘I do not think "he’s my friend" as I thought about Fabian. I was convinced Lukasz deserved to play, but not at my expense.’

Arsenal’s first choice since the 2011-12 campaign, Szczesny has made 158 appearances for the Gunners since his first-team debut in September 2009, winning the Premier League’s Golden Glove award last season after keeping 16 clean sheets.

However, he is well aware that the task of keeping Ospina out of the net in the future will be far from straightforward, and insists he won’t be getting complacent, despite being still to record a shut-out this term.

‘When I look at the strikers in the Premier League, I wonder when the first one will be,’ he added.

‘After three games it wasn’t possible.

‘The power of our opponents is amazing, this season everything can happen.

‘But when I have a bad day I look at the Golden Glove award and I feel better straight away.’

FIFA World Cup 2018FIFA 2018 World Cup Russia - click here for all of our coverage...

Register for ARSENAL team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch