Barcelona star confirms he enjoys the English style of play.
Arsenal have long been linked with the signing of Barcelona goalkeeper Victor Valdes, who has revealed he will quit Camp Nou at the end of his current contract, and fans of the Gunners will therefore be pleased to read of his positive words towards the style of play in the Premier League.
Speaking to FourFourTwo, Valdes said he had followed English football since he was young.
“I like the Premier League, of course,” confirmed Valdes.
“They shoot a lot ‘shoot on goal’ – that’s what you say in English, no? I like the respect of the crowd towards footballers in England.
It’s a different way of living football. They clap a simple tackle in England, we’re not used to that. I like it.”
“I want to try new cultures, new football, new challenges,” continued Valdes. “I’ve had great times here, I love it at Barcelona. I will always come back here, but I have this wonderful job which allows me to travel. And I want to travel.”
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has long stood by his current goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny, despite a plethora of avoidable mistakes, and it was a similar story for both Lukasz Fabianski and Manuel Almunia before him in what has turned into something of a problem position for Arsenal in the last decade or so.
Whilst Wenger is unlikely to want his young custodian Szczesny to leave – even though he has currently lost his place to Fabianski – he may well be receptive to the idea of a more senior goalkeeper moving to Emirates Stadium, with the aim to have Szczesny learn from the veteran’s experience.
Although Valdes had a poor match against Paris Saint-Germain in the UEFA Champions League in the first leg of their quarter final clash, he has on the whole been a reliable presence between the posts for Barca. As proof, he has won the Ricardo Zamora trophy in each of the last four campaign – a prize given at the end of the season to the goalkeeper who concedes the least goals per game throughout La Liga.
Like all footballers, Szczesny will want to play first team football, but if he can see the merits of improving his game alongside a more experienced goalkeeper, an Arsenal move for Valdes could be a good deal for all parties, with the Daily Mail suggesting above that a fee of £8.5m would be required if the Gunners were to tempt Barcelona to sell this summer.
At least Valdes seems receptive to the idea.