Wojciech Szczesny believes leaving Arsenal for Roma was the best thing that could have happened to him and reveals life at the Emirates Stadium was becoming negative before his departure.
The goalkeeper has spent two years on loan at Roma and faces an uncertain future, with only one year left on his contract with the Gunners.
Szczesny feels he has never been a better player due to his spell in Serie A and is glad he left Arsenal despite initially finding his departure tough to take after they brought in Petr Cech from Chelsea.
"The season before I left I had a very bad season – performances, injuries, off field – it was terrible," Szczesny said to the Guardian.
"I could have stayed in an environment that was going negatively for me. Instead the opportunity that came gave me a fresh start. You get a new perspective. You get new coaches and influences. You learn new drills. You do new things.
"Now I am very happy that it happened, even if the first impression was that I might be out of Arsenal, which was very painful. Now I think it was probably the best thing that could have happened to me.
"The biggest thing I have taken away from these two years at Roma is the fact I grew as a goalkeeper. It is just raising your levels, your standards. I absorbed a bigger knowledge of football, the tactical side of the game. You don't see me with that rush of blood that I used to have as a younger keeper.
"I think I can be better now than I thought I could be when I was back at Arsenal. I have grown more than I would have hoped for.
"The one thing I want to do is make sure I don't stay still. I was quite still for five years – sometimes I played better, sometimes worse, sometimes phenomenal, sometimes rubbish. You take steps forwards and backwards. It is not very good for your head if you go up and down and up and down.
"I want to try to keep going up, with my quality and with my decisions that I make. I am 27, the best I have ever been, I still have room to improve and I want to make sure that room doesn't stay empty. I want to go into that room. It feels like a big moment."
So boss, what are your thoughts on the recent form of these two?— Arsenal FC (@Arsenal) May 19, 2017
“In every game they turn up with strong performances” pic.twitter.com/cGurw1yLSw
Szczseny is yet to make a decision on his future, but insists Arsenal's own verdict will play a huge role in ending a difficult dilemma.
"The uncertainty over my future is also quite draining," continued the Poland international, who insists he has remained a massive Arsenal fan.
"In a way it has kept me going. You don't know what is going to happen or what your options are going to be and that pushes you subconsciously.
"You want to perform well enough that you are not short of options. There is a bit of adrenaline, you don't know who is watching you. It's not a pleasant feeling but it was a motivating one.
"When I have my head on the 2017-18 season, then we make a decision – first Arsenal has to and then I have to. I want to make sure I take my time, clear my head of this season, and then focus on doing the right thing. What that is time will show.
"For 10 years I played for a club I loved. The thing that sticks out not playing for Arsenal is, although when you lose it hurts just as much, when you win it doesn't taste as good. I would never say I give less to Roma than I do to Arsenal, it is just that the emotion is different."
|Playing with Cristiano Ronaldo still hasn´t sunk in, says new Real Madrid signing Vinicius Junior|
|Liverpool goalkeeper Manninger to retire|
|He loves us! – Levy certain Pochettino will stay at Tottenham|
|London extends ATP Tour Finals deal until 2020|
|Rooney left out of England squad to play Scotland and France|
|Herrera would welcome Griezmann at Manchester United|
|Wales have great opportunity after avoiding group of death - North|
|City and United join forces with £1m donation to Manchester emergency fund|
|Robshaw and Ford to lead inexperienced England|
|Iniesta unsure over long-term Barcelona future|
|Kumble future uncertain as India advertise for new head coach|
|Makelele role is now the Kante role - Chelsea icon Claude passes baton to N´Golo|
|Bourdais walks out of hospital as recovery continues|
|Tennis Australia distances itself from Court´s marriage equality comments|
|Willian wants Chelsea stay amid Manchester United rumours|
|Beale to be rested for Australia Test series|
|Boateng rules out Bayern exit|
|Klopp wants Liverpool transfer dealings wrapped up as soon as possible|
|Andretti backs Alonso for Indy 500 glory|
|Barcelona express Messi support after lost appeal|
|Valverde a good option for Barcelona – Pique|
|Rizzo blasts two homers to lead Cubs past Giants|
|Pogba: I´d be very happy if Juve won Champions League|
|Smith plays down Ashes boycott amid ongoing pay dispute|
|Copa Libertadores Review: Palmeiras, Wilstermann progress|
|Chinese FA cracks down on soaring transfer fees to place Costa deal in doubt|
|Mata and Smalling describe extra Europa League motivation after Manchester attacks|
|Barba makes St Helens move|
|Cavs coach Lue says Celtics more difficult to defend than Warriors|
|Herrera dedicates Europa League trophy to Manchester victims|
|Spieth hopes Colonial return allows him to board ´new momentum train´|
|Predators hopeful Fisher can return for game one|
|Thurston ruled out of Origin opener|
|Penguins expect Schultz, Hornqvist back for game seven|
|Bosz admits Ajax were overawed by Stockholm showpiece|
|From ´The Special One´ to ´The Humble One´ - Mourinho felt he was the worst manager in the world|
|Mourinho plays down talk of Silva move|
|Atletico Madrid don´t expect Manchester United to match Griezmann´s €100m clause|
|Ibrahimovic: My future? Let´s see|
|Mourinho wants Rooney stay and urges Woodward to start working on transfers|
|Poets don´t win titles – Mourinho defiant after Ajax criticise Manchester United approach|
|Bosz unimpressed by Manchester United: Ajax did not have to lose to this team|
|Europa League triumph more important than sport, says Manchester United great Beckham|
|Morgan cautious over Stokes injury|
|Klaassen: United just waited and kicked it long|
|Nobody can talk - Pogba feels Manchester United silenced critics|
|Manchester United´s Europa League triumph is the ultimate victory for defiance|
|Morgan guides England to promising victory over South Africa|
|Player ratings: Ajax 0 Manchester United 2|
|Manchester City send classy tribute to Europa League winners Manchester United|
|Ajax 0 Manchester United 2: Pogba and Mkhitaryan seal emotional Europa League triumph|
|Aussies rule in Strasbourg|
|Monaco sign Anderlecht wonderkid Youri Tielemans|
|Bangladesh hold nerve to beat New Zealand|
|Woods on back surgery: I haven´t felt this good in years|
|Ziganda appointed as new Athletic Bilbao coach|
|Ajax starting XI against Manchester United youngest ever in major European final|
|Wawrinka benefits from Silva retirement in Geneva|
|Wenger uncertainty no excuse, says Mertesacker|
|Elias stuns Del Potro in Lyon|
|Pique calls for video referees in Spain to boost LaLiga standards|
|CAF Champions League Review: Mamelodi Sundowns see off Vita Club|
|Kerber excited by tough Paris test|
|Terry ´couldn´t care less´ over Chelsea farewell criticism|
|Rolland battles to stage 17 Giro victory|
|Victor Valdes to leave Middlesbrough|
|Kohli looking to replicate Test success at Champions Trophy|
|Eintracht Frankfurt won´t sign Varela after United loanee gets tattoo|
|AFC Champions League Review: Hulk stars as Shanghai SIPG beat Jiangsu Suning|
|Goretzka: Bayern rumours are false|