Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has hailed the focus of young goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny, comparing the Pole’s rapid progress to the emergence of England number one Joe Hart.
Hart won the Barclays Golden Glove last season and was voted as the Premier League’s goalkeeper of the year for the 2009-10 season and at the age of 24, the Manchester City star was also chosen as the star-studded club’s performer of the year last season.
The 21-year old Szczesny may not boast of the honors that Hart already possesses but the Gunners goalkeeper’s rise to prominence has been strikingly reminiscent of Hart in that he continues to improve at an incredible rate.
Wenger, who was urged to buy a top goalkeeper right before Szczesny’s emergence, is surely delighted with his decision to keep faith in his young goalkeeper and is confident that the player will keep getting better.
“He has improved in his focus, the consistency of it. The talent was always there but he is maturing quickly. You can’t be completely on the inside or completely on the outside. I like that he is a good communicator,” Wenger told Arsenal.com.
The manager added: “You have to adjust, it’s important to find a balance. The mental part of a keeper is vital.”
Speaking of mental strength, Wenger then specifically cited Hart as an inspiration for Szczesny.
“Look at Joe Hart, who is a fantastic goalkeeper for England. For me he shows that [mental] strength,” Wenger explained.
“I wouldn’t like to say publicly what he [Szczesny] needs to do to improve, I’d rather tell him myself. Overall he has the basic talent to be a top-class keeper, how far he goes will depend on how much he wants to improve,” the Frenchman concluded.