Arsenal finally have a steady pair of hands with goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale, making up for the previous few years in which the club went through various players in order to find an established No.1.
Ramsdale is repaying his £30m fee – having kept nine clean sheets already this season – and Mikel Arteta now has a position that is settled, leaving him free to improve other areas of the team.
In terms of the future, there is some exciting talent in the famous Hale End academy which could save the Spaniard millions over the coming years. Young Polish keeper Hubert Graczyk is amongst them and he could well go on to become Arsenal’s next Wojciech Szczesny.
Could Hubert Graczyk become Arsenal’s next Szczesny?
The 32-year-old made over 180 appearances for the north London side, keeping 72 clean sheets during that time and since he left in 2015, the club have struggled to find a reliable goalkeeper until Ramsdale joined in 2021 – the likes of Petr Cech and Bernd Leno all failing to truly solidify their place in the side for an extended period.
The Polish titan now stars for Juventus and has kept 11 clean sheets in 18 Serie A matches this term, an impressive record that proves he is still able to compete at the highest level.
In Graczyk, Arsenal have the opportunity to unearth their next Polish sensation. The 19-year-old has played 52 times across the age groups for the Gunners, keeping eight clean sheets during that spell.
Journalist Layth Yousif praised the keeper last year, saying: “Interesting to note that Arsenal U23 keeper Hubert Graczyk signed his first pro deal with the club a year ago this week. It’s not been entirely plain sailing for the Polish-born 19-year-old who has had to hold the bench at younger age levels but is now progressing well.”
A wonderful penalty save against Liverpool U21s last year led the official Arsenal Academy Twitter to dub him “clutch” and he looks like he has the right attributes to enjoy a bright future.
He has featured 15 times for the U21 side this season across both the Premier League 2 and EFL Trophy, and it was in the latter competition that he displayed his incredible talent.
The Pole started against Ipswich and despite Arsenal losing 2-0, Graczyk was in imperious form, receiving a rating of 7.6/10 via Sofascore which made him comfortably the club’s finest performer on the night.
His performance prevented the club from shipping five or six goals as he made seven saves throughout the game, took 55 touches, and was successful with his only run-out, proving he is confident with the ball at his feet and the stronger opposition clearly didn’t intimidate him.
More experience will come over the next few years, but if he keeps playing well and starring against better opposition when he gets the chance, Arteta might call on him sooner rather than later.