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Balotelli on compassionate leave


Szczesny told to show more patience

Arsene Wenger has told Wojciech Szczesny he must be patient after the young goalkeeper revealed he is considering his future.

Szczesny, 20, is currently behind Manuel Almunia, Lukasz Fabianski and Vito Mannone in the pecking order at Arsenal and has become frustrated by his lack of opportunities.

Wenger, though, believes Szczesny should put his faith in the club and work hard for first-team opportunities.

"He is right he deserves a chance but the 'keeper in front of him, Mannone, deserves a chance as well," he said. "You can only play one goalkeeper. It's part of their job as a football player to live with competition and decisions.

"I believe the best thing for him is just to focus, work hard and trust us. No club in the world has started more players at the top, top level than we have, nobody. So he is in the right club.

"But impatience is a characteristic of youth. What they forget when they are 20 is that they can play until they are 40, whereas a normal player can only go to 32 or 34 if it all goes well, so what they lose at the start they gain at the end of their career.

"When you educated a player like we do with Szczesny, who arrives at the age of 16, it is a long-term investment which costs a lot of money, so you want to keep the players. We will talk to him about a new deal. We rate him and we want to keep him."

In an interview in Poland earlier this week, Szczesny had warned he was considering his future.

"I am ready to play at a high level and need a club which won't be afraid to rely on a 20-year-old goalkeeper," he said. "At Arsenal, nobody is brave enough to do so. It won't be difficult to find a new club but I am not allowed to speak to anyone.

"I know Arsenal are fighting for trophies but if you want to win anything you must play your best players - not the oldest ones. I am trying to fight for the No. 1 shirt. I am not interested in being No. 3 at any club.

"My contract's running until June. On January 1, I will be able to sign with any other club so I won't say now that I want to leave because I could fall into trouble.

"I'd love to play for Arsenal but am expecting more than a few words [from Wenger] at a press conference that 'one day Wojciech will be the No. 1'."


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