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Transfer Rater: Richarlison to Arsenal

 By Kevin Palmer

Szczesny hails 'strong' Arsenal squad

Arsenal goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny believes the current Gunners squad is the best he has been a part of in his time at the club.

Szczesny faces competition for his own place from summer arrival David Ospina in the coming months and the depth of talent in Wenger's squad will be boosted by the imminent return to fitness of winger Theo Walcott.

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The feel-good factor around Arsenal following their FA Cup win last May is fuelling confidence ahead of the new season, with Szczesny happy to add to the hype.

"Hopefully this squad will be the most successful one but looking at it on paper, it probably is the strongest one we have had," Szczesny told reporters.

"Except for Thomas [Vermaelen], we have not lost any key players and even though someone did leave on a free [Bacary Sagna], we have managed to replace them with good players. We are looking stronger and stronger and we are very happy with that."

Szczesny stated he was eager to revel in Arsenal's 3-0 win against Manchester City in last Sunday's Community Shield match at Wembley, as he talked up a solid defensive display from the Gunners.

"Rather than talking about their [City's] lack of attacking threat, I talk about our good defensive performance and the whole team shape as we limited them to a couple of chances," he added.

"Obviously we are enjoying the win, but what is important is that we are ready to start the season. We are looking strong, but we are not reading too much into it."

Wojciech Szczesny is confident heading into the new Premier League season.

Meanwhile, Arsenal striker Olivier Giroud is hopeful that the Gunners now have a squad that can last the pace in this season's Premier League title race, after claiming Alexis Sanchez's 35 million pound arrival from Barcelona this summer has taken the team to a new level.

"He [Sanchez] is a fantastic player, so I think he will have a great season," continued Giroud. "He has different qualities to me, Yaya Sanogo and Joel Campbell. He can bring his pace and his technique in the centre of the park and he is a great finisher.

"We have a good quality squad and now the quantity, so that is why I think we will be stronger this year. I've played with him in training and we have a good understanding. Like Mesut [Ozil] when he signed for Arsenal, it is always easy to play with these kind of players.

"I think he will maybe need some more games to adapt his game to the Premier League, but that's normal."


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