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Arsenal stopper close to return

Arsenal goalkeeper Wojciech SzczesnyArsenal goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny may return to first-team action for the club’s Premier League clash with Fulham on Saturday.

The stopper has been side-lined with an ankle injury since mid-September, but is believed to be close to reaching full fitness.

It is thought that he could play a small part for the Gunners’ U-21 side, who are in action against West Ham on Friday, and if he comes through unscathed will challenge Vito Mannone for the spot between the sticks.

Arsene Wenger said that if the Polish international can prove he is fit he will play:

“Wojciech is No 1.” He is quoted by SkySports.

“When he is fully fit, I will make the decision who to play.”

The 22-year-old was impressive for the North Londoners last season, producing a series of fine performances which helped the team achieve third place and Champions League qualification.

The Pole has been sorely missed so far this term, with Wenger having to call upon rookie stopper Mannone.

The Italian has performed admirably, but his lack of experience has been, at times, exposed by the opposition.

Szczesny joined the club from Legia Warsaw in 2006 and earned his spot in the first-team following a successful loan spell with Brentford.

He has now made over 50 appearances for the Emirates Stadium side and earned 12 caps for Poland.

Article title: Arsenal stopper close to return

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