VIDEO: Wojciech Szczesny Gets Emotional Discussing Arsenal During Unveiling as Juventus Player

Wojciech Szczesny came close to tears when discussing Arsenal at his unveiling as a Juventus player on Wednesday.

The 27-year-old goalkeeper has completed his move to the Bianconeri for €12.2m having impressed in the Serie A with Roma during a two-season loan.

The Poland international is expected to deputise for Gigi Buffon in his first season, but has been signed with a view to becoming the eventual replacement for the legendary Italian.

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Despite his form for Roma, there was no place in the Arsenal squad for Szczesny following the completion of his loan.

And asked if he had any regrets from his time with the North London club, Szczesny struggled to contain his emotions.

“It’s a difficult question,” he said. “I spent 11 years…” He then apologised and asked for a moment to regain his composure.

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Turning his attention towards the prospect of playing for the Serie A champions, Szczesny told ​Juventus’ official website: “I believe in myself and I am ready for this challenge. I wanted to take a step up in my career and Juventus is the biggest step I could take.

“I saw [Massimiliano] Allegri this morning, I saw him for 15 seconds because I was training in the gym. I am not 20 anymore, I am 27 and I want to win trophies. This club only want to win, that’s the mentality of this club and that’s why [I was pushed to leave Arsenal and Roma].”

He added: “I’ve been waiting to come here for a long time, so I’m delighted. I feel lucky because I’m not the kind of person that feels pressure. I think I’m capable of playing at the highest level, so I’m not worried. I’m ready to play whenever I’m needed. I’m available.”

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Monaco Issue Official Warning to All Clubs Interested in Kylian Mbappe Over Illegal Approaches

This summer, Monaco starlet Kylian Mbappe has dictated much of the narrative with Europe’s elite circling around the French international striker.

Real Madrid, Barcelona, Arsenal and Liverpool have all expressed an interest, with many saying that world record bids would be tabled but now, the Ligue 1 champions have issued a formal warning to the clubs.

They released the following statement, per Sky Sports: “AS Monaco regretfully notice that ‘important’ European football clubs made contact with Kylian Mbappe (and his entourage) without its authorisation.

“AS Monaco want to remind to these clubs that such actions are contrary to the article 211 of the Administrative regulation of the French Football League (Ligue de Football Professionnel) and to the article 18.3 of the Regulation of the Status and the Transfer of the Players of FIFA.

“To put an end to this unacceptable situation, AS Monaco consider asking the French Football League (Ligue de Football Professionnel) and FIFA to commit disciplinary procedures against clubs offenders.”

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The update coming out of Monaco could spell the end for the on-going saga regarding Mbappe, with the Frenchman looking ever more likely to remain in his homeland.

One update from Sky Sports presenter Bryan Swanson suggests that the complaints from Monaco are not about any of the aforementioned European giants, they relate to Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain.

Pep Guardiola is known to be a big fan of the player, with PSG also tracking the teenager but they appear to have now switched their attentions to Barcelona superstar, Neymar.

Seems odd that City are mentioned, though, given that they haven’t had many stories linking them with Mbappe in the press.


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Crystal Palace Expected to Make New Offer for Arsenal Star as De Boer Plans Defensive Revamp

Frank de Boer’s Crystal Palace are set to make a second bid for Arsenal’s Calum Chambers, after seeing their opening bid of around £16m mark rejected last week.

Arsenal are thought to value the 22-year-old right-back at closer to £20m and Frank de Boer has asked that Palace make an improved bid, according to ESPN.

Palace have identified Chambers as one of their top targets this summer as they look to strengthen their defensive options, in order to avoid another relegation dogfight next season.

However Palace face competition from a number of other Premier League sides for Chambers’ signature with Everton, West Ham, Southampton and Newcastle also interested in the Arsenal man.

Chambers has been somewhat ruled out of first team plans at the Emirates after being loaned out to Middlesbrough last season.

Chambers signed for The Gunners from Southampton for £16m in 2014, but has since fallen down the pecking order in Arsene Wenger’s plans.

The 22-year-old made 36 appearances for Arsenal in his first season but started only two Premier League games in his second campaign at the Emirates,

As a result Arsenal sent him to Teeside for last season’s campaign, where Chambers made 25 appearances in the Premier League for Middlesbrough, but saw his loan side relegated to the Championship after finishing 19th.

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Nevertheless Chambers seemingly caught the eye of many Premier League scouts due to his performances for Boro and for England’s Under-21s, as they reached the semi-finals of the Euros. 

Now Chambers is again expected to look for first team football in the Premier League for next season, with Arsenal seemingly not an option.

Chambers would become Franks de Boer’s second major signing since taking over at Selhurst Park, with Ruben Loftus-Cheek the only other senior player to have joined so far this summer.


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Arsenal & Man City Enter Race to Sign Schalke Star After Confederations Cup Performances

​Schalke star Leon Goretzka has been subject to interest from a host of European clubs this summer following an impressive season, and now Arsenal and Manchester City are said to have joined the race. 

22-year-old Goretzka’s contract at Schalke expires next year and after supposedly rejecting a new four-year deal worth £7m-a-year, a parting of ways now seems to be inevitable. 

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The German international played a starring role for his country’s Confederations Cup triumph this summer and as a result has attracted the likes of Bayern Munich, Real Madrid, and Liverpool.

According to German newspaper ​SportBild, Arsene Wenger has monitored Goretzka for a number of months and has been impressed by what he has seen, so much so that he wants to bring the 22-year-old to the Emirates this summer. 

Pep Guardiola is also understood to have taken a close look at the midfielder in the view of linking up with him however, Bild adds that Schalke are holding firm on their stance that Goretzka is not for sale – for any price. 

The club’s sports director told Bild: “We do not need to call anyone because of Leon Goretzka. We will definitely not give him away.”

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With Goretzka showing signs that he could be a world beater, further suggestions are that the 22-year-old’s next destination is likely to be Bayern Munich as he is said to have an agreement with the club for the 2018/19 season – as the German giants will continue to poach the best youngsters from across the world.

The midfielder has nine international caps for Germany and joined Schalke in 2013 from Bochum, and has since made 116 appearances for the club – scoring 14 goals. 


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Why Arsene Wenger Was Naive and Wrong to Let an Improved Wojciech Szczesny Leave for Juventus

​Often an incredibly loyal man and boss to his players, Arsène Wenger has seemingly given up on a player who he initially held in high regard for many years. Through the questionable performances and erratic decision-making, there was hidden and occasional glimpses of the talent Polish goalkeeper Wojciech Szczęsny demonstrated in an Arsenal jersey.

Signed in 2006 from Legia Warsaw, the exciting 6’5 shot-stopper entered the Arsenal academy as a promising talent who Wenger said he had “identified as a future great, great goalkeeper.” Fast forward eleven years and the French manager has sold the Polish international in his prime to Italian giants Juventus for only €15.3m.

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After two calamitous errors, which led to both goals in a 2-0 defeat to Southampton in January 2015, it appeared that Szczęsny had lost the confidence of his manager and was sent packing the following summer on a two-year loan to Roma.

While in Italy, the former Arsenal man has demonstrated why Wenger continued to believe in his ability and never look for greater experience between the sticks, despite numerous calls from the Arsenal fans. Since the move to the Emirates, the Gunners have stagnated as a team and have struggled to dominate in a competitive league, often playing with the approach that we will win by outscoring the opposition. That is all well and good if you are a Barcelona or Bayern Munich who have 70% possession every game, but in the Premier League this does not happen.

Repeatedly when Szczęsny was in goal, Arsenal conceded as he was left as a vulnerable target to guard the net. When the team struggled, the Polish international often made further mistakes in a desperate attempt to help the team he loved.

He has finally come of age while on loan in Italy and a number of fine performances for the Giallorossi, where he kept the highest number of clean sheets in Serie A last season, made a number of suitors including the eventual champions Juventus stand up and take notice.

With the Old Lady number one Gianluigi Buffon admitting the 2017/18 season could be his last one in the game, manager Massimiliano Allegri and high ranking officials at the club have made the smart move to replace the legend before it happens. He will still keep his place as the undoubted first choice for next season, but now they have planned beyond the World Cup winner with the bargain acquisition of Szczęsny.

The question remains, why has Wenger not done the same? As it is often the case with Arsenal, they have allowed a number of key players contracts to run down, with Szczęsny following the likes of Alexis Sanchez, Mesut Ozil, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Jack Wilshere and Kieran Gibbs in having one-year left on their current deals.

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Therefore, potential suitors like Juventus can get talented players like Szczęsny on the cheap and at the same time humiliate the Gunners. If Wenger thought the 27-year-old was a “great, great goalkeeper” all those years ago, stuck by him through the worst times and let him go on the cheap when he hit his prime, that shows poor planning, judgement and naivety a coach with over 30 years managerial experience.

As respected goalkeeper Petr Cech nears the end of his career, Szczęsny would have been the perfect replacement. He is the right age, loves the club and has grown as a player while in Italy. Now Juventus will reap the rewards of eleven years training in London, while Arsenal will have to scour the market for an over-expensive replacement.

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