Wojciech Szczesny's New Arsenal Contract Represents Major Change in Fortune

Ian RodgersWorld Football Staff WriterNovember 16, 2013

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According to the club's official websiteArsenal goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny has signed a new deal with the Gunners in a move that represents a major change in fortunes for the Poland international.

The 23-year-old has overcome a dip in form last season to prove himself as Arsene Wenger's undisputed No. 1 so far in the Premier League this season.

Szczesny arrived at the north London club's academy in 2006 and eventually made his first-team debut in a League Cup match against West Bromwich Albion in September 2009.

During the second half of the 2010-11 season, Wenger named Szczesny as his first-choice goalkeeper, as the official Arsenal website reported in January 2011.

The Pole would go on to make a string of saves in the Champions League as Arsenal defeated Barcelona 2-1 in the first leg of their last-16 tie.

Just 11 days later, that display counted for nothing as Szczesny was culpable for allowing Birmingham City to win the League Cup with a late winner from Obafemi Martins, who took full advantage of a mistake between the goalkeeper and defender Laurent Koscielny.

That defeat cost Arsenal the chance of winning a first trophy since 2005, and, arguably, heaped the pressure on manager Wenger over a lack of silverware.

Last season, Szczesny found himself dropped for compatriot Lukasz Fabianski for the Champions League tie at Bayern Munich, which Arsenal won 2-0.

Szczesny did not return to the first team until Fabianski picked up a rib injury one month later.

Given a new chance, Szczesny produced two fine displays, keeping clean sheets against Everton and Fulham to resume his place between the posts.

Since then, the Poland star has discovered the consistency which had previously eluded him during his career with the Gunners.

During the summer, Arsenal were linked with a stream of goalkeepers, such as Iker Casillas and Julio Cesar, as John Drayton of the Daily Mail reported, but Szczesny has vanquished any thoughts of replacing him..

The arrival of Mesut Ozil earlier this season has seen a notable transformation in the form of previously under-achieving Arsenal players such Olivier Giroud and Aaron Ramsey.

But the presence of a goalkeeper in consistent form such as Szczesny represents an equally important cog in the Gunners' successful start to the season.