Juventus have completed the signing of Wojciech Szczesny from Arsenal for a fee of €12.2 million.
Poland goalkeeper Szczesny underwent his medical in Turin on Tuesday and officially became a Juventus player on Wednesday in a deal that could rise to €15.3 million, depending on performance.
The 27-year-old, who spent the last two seasons on loan at Roma, has signed a four-year contract for the Bianconeri, where he is expected to be understudy to Italy No. 1 Gianlugi Buffon in the coming season.
“Juventus Football Club is pleased to announce the transfer of Wojciech Szczesny from Arsenal, the goalkeeper signing a four-year deal with the Italian champions until 30 June 2021,” a statement on Juve’s official website read.
“Of goalkeepers to have made more than 10 appearances, only Gianluigi Buffon and Milan’s Gianluigi Donnarumma have held greater save percentage rates — 77 percent and 76 percent respectively — than the Pole (75 percent) over the last two seasons.
“While Buffon would concede the fewest goals overall last term, Szczesny was the man to keep the most clean sheets — 14 in total. With 72 Serie A matches under his belt, Juve’s latest acquisition is poised to embark on a new adventure at the Allianz Stadium where once again he will have his sights firmly set on the number one jersey.”
— JuventusFC (@juventusfcen) July 19, 2017
Szczesny spoke of his delight at joining the defending champions at a news conference at the Allianz Stadium.
“I never had any doubts about coming to Juventus,” he said. “I’m grateful to Roma for everything, but I am happy to be at this club. I’ve come here to win. Since I arrived in Italy, Juventus have won everything there was to win, apart from the Champions League, and anybody who comes here wins, which is what I also want to do.
“I understand Buffon’s role and I respect that. I’m here to learn and to grow. It’s the coach’s decision, but I am available. I’ve never felt any pressure in my life. I want to represent this club by defending the goal as well as possible.
“Gigi is a leader on and off the field and I’ve noticed that in my first few hours here. I’ll try to learn as much as I possibly can from him.”
Szczesny said goodbye to Roma in a message on Instagram last month and added a lengthy farewell to Arsenal that included him saying: “I may not be an Arsenal player no more but I will carry the Arsenal name with me wherever I go and I will do so with great pride. Once a Gunner, always a Gunner!”
He is likely to gain most of his action for Juve in the Coppa Italia next season as he is primed to succeed Buffon, who has already announced his intention to retire from international football following next summer’s World Cup, but has yet to confirm whether he will call it a day entirely when he is 40.
He recently said that if Juve win the Champions League next season, he would like to carry on playing for the opportunity to win the Club World Cup
Ben Gladwell reports on Serie A, the Italian national team and the Bundesliga for ESPN FC, UEFA and the Press Association. @UEFAcomBenG.