Wojciech Szczesny has revealed that he is set to be Arsenal’s first-choice goalkeeper this season.
The No.1 position at Emirates Stadium has been problematic for the past couple of seasons, with Arsene Wenger trying out a number of different options.
Manuel Almunia and Lukasz Fabianski have both been inconsistent, while German veteran Jens Lehmann was even brought back to the club on a short-term deal in March following an injury crisis.
Vito Mannone is also on Arsenal’s books and was loaned out to Hull City last season, but it is Szczesny who has emerged as the most promoting prospect after a series of impressive performances in the absence of his more senior team-mates.
It is still not certain who would line up between the posts when everyone is fit, but Szczesny is under the impression that he will start Saturday’s season opener against Newcastle.
The 21-year-old recognises that he will have to perform well to hold on to the jersey but has warned his rivals he is ready for the challenge.
“I received a clear signal from Arsene Wenger before the new season that I would be the number one keeper in the Arsenal goal,” Szczesny said before Poland’s friendly against Georgia in Lubin on Wednesday.
“The other keepers in the team must compete with me, but I do not plan to give up.
“Of course, I feel a huge pressure. I know very well how good a keeper Lukasz Fabianski is and I must be in top form all the time.”
Szczesny also hopes to remain first-choice goalkeeper for Poland in the build-up to next summer’s Euro 2012 championship on home soil.
“Now, everything is in my own hands,” he explained. “If I do not make any horrible mistakes, I should keep my position until the Euros.”