• News

Wojciech Szczesny slams ‘extremely arrogant’ Robin van Persie

Would Juventus pay big money to get Oblak?
Getty Images

Wojciech Szczesny gave a less than complimentary appraisal of his “extremely arrogant” former Arsenal team-mate Robin van Persie.

The 28-year-old goalkeeper came through Arsenal’s youth ranks and established himself as the number one at the Emirates Stadium, while winning two FA Cups and the Premier League Golden Glove award with Petr Cech.

But the arrival of the then-Chelsea keeper in the summer of 2015 effectively ended Szczesny’s Arsenal career after falling behind David Ospina in the pecking order amid struggles for form.

The Poland international was later sent out on loan to AS Roma for two seasons before being snapped up by Juventus in 2017 on a €12.2m deal.

Speaking on his time at Arsenal, Szczesny criticised Van Persie’s attitude and suggested he made a mistake leaving for Manchester United in 2012.

“He could have made other decisions and achieved lots more at Arsenal,” Szczesny told YouTube channel Foot Truck.

“He’s extremely arrogant – sometimes. [I] have to admit, he left for Manchester United and the following year won a title.

“However after that, he got benched, moved to Turkey and his big career ended.”

Others players were on the receiving end for criticism by Szczesny were Samir Nasri, who now plays for West Ham, and Aleksandr Hleb, who returned to his native Belarus in 2018 to play for BATE Borisov.

“[Nasri] always thought he was some kind of gangster,” said the Juventus keeper.

“Everyone has this guy at school, who had strong and big friends and it made him think he was cool.

On Hleb, Szczesny said: “He could have achieved more in football. He still had a great career but he liked to drink.”

On the other hand, Spanish full-back Hector Bellerin’s eccentric fashion style was remarked on by Szczesny.

“[But] now that he’s a wing-back, he’s giving more offensively,” said Szczesny.

“His style is a little weird, but whose isn’t? He got that from his mum.”

Szczesny kept 72 clean sheets in 181 appearances for Arsenal across all competitions.

SINGAPORE – JULY 15: Wojciech Szczesny of Arsenal takes photographs with fans after the Barclays Asia Trophy match between Arsenal and Singapore Select XI at National Stadium on July 15, 2015 in Singapore. (Photo by Lionel Ng/Getty Images)