Szczesny: Being star-struck motivated me

Arsenal goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny has revealed the reasons behind his rise to prominence in the Premier League this season.

Szczesny claims that throughout his Arsenal career, being surrounded by such talented players has motivated him to emulate their success.

The 22-year-old Polish international told Arsenal's official website: "I think what really made me motivated was seeing all the superstars around the training ground. Back then you had the likes of Robert Pires, Thierry Henry and Jens Lehmann.

"They were some fantastic players to be around and seeing them there every day just made you think that you want to be there around them [on the pitch] one day. It makes you want to work hard."

Following his breakthrough into the first team last season, Szczesny is now hoping that he can be seen as somebody to look up to.

“I hope that some of the kids in the youth team now are looking at me and thinking: 'I want to be his team-mate one day'. It has been a very good journey," he said.

And the youngster explained how he was able to adapt to London life so quickly after arriving from this year’s European Championship venue, Poland.

“I think the first time I got scouted by Arsenal was in a game against France [for Poland Under-15s], which we drew 0-0 in and I did quite well. So I was invited on trial when I was 15," he said.

"I loved London from the minute I landed at Heathrow Airport, I thought it was fantastic. I also loved the atmosphere around the training ground and the facilities, it was all just there for me to go on and make a career in football.

"I just thought to myself: 'it's a chance you get once in a lifetime', and so it was quite an easy decision for me to join Arsenal."

By Tom Bennett