Lukasz Fabianski has revived his career with Swansea City at the Liberty Stadium, after wasting seven years attempting to become Arsenal’s first-choice goalkeeper.
Arsenal plucked Fabianski from his native Poland in 2007, after he’d won back-to-back Polish Ektraklasa titles at Legia Warsaw and been voted Ektraklasa Goalkeeper of the Season on two consecutive occasions in 2006 and 2007.
Fabianski joined Arsenal for a fee in the region of £2.1 million, but would be third-choice goalkeeper behind Manuel Almunia and Jens Lehmann. This reduced his playing time significantly, and he finished his debut season with a mere eight appearannces in all competitions.
The 2008/09 season began with the departure of Germany goalkeeper Jens Lehmann to VfB Stuttgart, but Almunia would still remain the preferred candidate between the sticks. Fabianski made 18 appearances in all competitions during his second season, including three matches in the UEFA Champions League, but he was criticised on numerous occasions for a series of mistakes.
Manuel Almunia was beginning to lose his grip on his place in the starting line-up, but Fabianski would not be his successor. Instead, another Polish goalkeeper in the shape of Wojciech Szczesny would benefit most from the demise of Almunia.
A catastrophic shoulder injury ruled Fabianski out of action for the remainder of the season in January 2011, and Szczesny established himself at the Emirates Stadium during his absence. The end of his career at Arsenal was edging ever closer, as injuries continuously deprived him of the opportunity to displace his Polish compatriot Szczesny.
Fabianski enjoyed a positive end to his career at Arsenal, as he saved two penalties in the penalty shoot-out of the FA Cup semi-final against Wigan Athletic and started in Arsenal’s 3-2 triumph against Hull City in the final at Wembley Stadium.
Swansea City approached Fabianski, after former first-choice goalkeeper Michel Vorm joined Tottenham Hotspur. Fabianski immediately indicated his interest in the move, and explained his motive behind the transfer saying, “the main reason I came to Swansea was because I wanted to be the number one goalkeeper.”
The 32-year-old has made over four times as many league appearances in his four seasons at Swansea, than he made during his seven seasons at the Emirates Stadium. He’s made the most saves in the Premier League so far this season, and was pivotal between the sticks in Swansea’s recent goal less draw at Huddersfield Town.
Manuel Almunia was unable to recover his career after his time at Arsenal, and was forced to drop into the Championship with Watford. Vito Mannone went onto join Sunderland, but was unable to retain a regular place in the squad, and was also forced to drop into the Championship.
Fabianski has remained resilient and determined to continue to pursue a career at the top level, and this drive and dedication has helped him revive his career elsewhere. He’s an ever present at Swansea City and a valuable member of the team, and he’s finally thriving in the Premier League, after seven years of pain.