Arsenal legend tells Szczesny what he has to do to oust Ospina

Szczesny Training

The 24-year-old still has what it takes to impress for the Gunners, says Bob Wilson.

Wojciech Szczesny hasn't had the best of campaigns, having had to get used to playing second fiddle when it comes to keeping goal at Arsenal. But he should be happy to know that a club legend retains confidence in his abilities and was full of support for the former Brentford loanee.

Szczesny has suffered from indifferent form this season in his 26 appearances, to the extent that he was dropped in the New Year in favour of Colombian number one David Ospina, who arrived from Nice in the summer after an impressive World Cup.

Ospina's form and consistency since replacing Szczesny has been in stark contrast to the man who has been between the sticks for the Gunners for the last four seasons.

But Bob Wilson, who kept goal for the Gunners during an 11-year spell, had words of encouragement for Szczesny, as well as some choice advice for regaining his position, in an interview reported by Sky Sports.

"From the time Wojciech got into the Arsenal first team, there were a lot who asked if he was good enough and I thought this boy has the potential to really be a solid, outstanding goalkeeper. I still believe that because he is - for his position - still relatively young,

"All I would say to him is 'look, Arsenal is one of the greatest football clubs. If you go from here, I am not sure you are ever going to get a club as good as this. At your age now, you need to dedicate yourself to being the best you can be, to the exclusion of a lot of other things in your life'."

Recollecting his own breakthrough at Arsenal, Wilson continued: "I was a very late starter, but once I was in the Arsenal side, my family almost came second to my ambition.

"I devoted every moment to regular training and then when the boys went in for their bath, I stayed out (on the field).

"I wanted to make sure I never ever left the game saying I could have been better, so my message to Wojciech would be 'come on, prove how good you can be'."

The Pole's last Premier League or Champions League start was at the turn of the year, and was a 2-0 loss at Southampton where both goals were attributable to errors by the 24-year-old.

Szczesny is likely to be given a chance in the FA Cup tie with Manchester United at Old Trafford on Monday, and a strong performance would surely remind Arsene Wenger that he has not one but two outstanding goalkeepers at the club.

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