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."
|Ronaldo jets off for a break as Madrid head to Leganes|
|Bastareaud back in one of five France changes|
|Mistake to let Kroos leave Bayern for Madrid - Sammer|
|Short´s fifty and Agar´s spin seal deserved Australian tri-series win|
|Spalletti tips Ancelotti for Italy job|
|I can´t wait for retirement - Federer|
|Mendy on course for World Cup, says Deschamps|
|Man Utd on dismal knockout run, Roma have Shakhtar curse - Champions League in Opta numbers|
|Azpilicueta hoping for greater fortune at Camp Nou|
|Out of nothing he can score goals – Heynckes hails Muller|
|CONCACAF Champions League Review: Giovinco inspires Toronto, Tigres held|
|Steelers LB Shazier says he´s ´best linebacker ever´|
|Ranieri: I´ll quit Nantes if offered Italy job|
|Thiem keeps title defence on track, Monfils saves match point in Rio|
|Barcelona are great even without Neymar – Willian|
|Del Potro, Raonic progress at Delray Beach|
|Dolphins place franchise tag on Landry|
|Colts QB Luck ´extremely optimistic´ about shoulder rehab|
|Conte wants to see out Chelsea contract but has bags packed|
|A´s respond to Gruden´s belittling of Oakland|
|Yankees acquire Drury in three-team deal with Diamondbacks, Rays|
|Messi goal will give Barcelona more space at Camp Nou – Suarez|
|Serena Williams: I almost died|
|Conte defends ´incredible´ Christensen after Barcelona error|
|Bayern taking nothing for granted after 5-0 demolition – Heynckes|
|Valverde: Barcelona away goal not definitive for progression|
|Muller & Robben bemoan poor first half despite Bayern rout|
|Ivashka sets up Wawrinka Marseille meeting|
|Chelsea close to a perfect game against Barcelona - Conte|
|Defending for 90 minutes at Barcelona a ´suicide mission´ - Fabregas|
|Championship Review: Villa miss chance to move into promotion places|
|Messi ends his Chelsea hoodoo|
|Texans release all-time leading tackler Brian Cushing|
|Chelsea 1 Barcelona 1: Messi breaks Blues hoodoo to leave tie in the balance|
|Bayern Munich 5 Besiktas 0: Two-goal Muller inspires emphatic win after Vida red|
|Woods and Stricker appointed USA Ryder Cup vice-captains|
|Wales must attack Sexton and Murray - Gatland|
|De Vrij confirms intention to leave Lazio on free transfer|
|Sanchez move down to Champions League frustration at Arsenal - Mourinho|
|Mourinho suggests Pogba is fit to face Sevilla|
|Clinical Kerber strolls past Strycova in Dubai|
|AFC Champions League Review: Hulk & Oscar lead Shanghai, Jeonbuk Motors hit six|
|Cech expects Ospina to start for Arsenal in EFL Cup final|
|Gueye signs new Everton deal until 2022|
|FA charges Man City and Wigan for failing to control players|
|Aguero faces no action over Wigan fan incident|
|Martin released by Buccaneers|
|Las Palmas get green light to sign Viera replacement amid Nasri talk|
|De Kock, De Villiers & Du Plessis looking to Australia Tests|
|FA issues West Ham with anti-doping charge|
|Florenzi a doubt to face Shakhtar, confirms Roma´s Di Francesco|
|Maybe we ´lock him up or tie him up´ – Montella ponders how to stop Sanchez|
|French rugby crisis could last a long time - Magne|
|Pogba and Ibrahimovic train with Man Utd ahead of Sevilla tie|
|Zidane hints at resting Ronaldo for Real Madrid´s trip to Leganes|
|Biggar, Halfpenny and Williams return to Wales´ starting XV|
|Modric adds to Real Madrid injury worries|
|Braehmer pulls out of Super Series semi-final|
|Wolfsburg turn to Labbadia in fight for Bundesliga survival|
|Hales follows Rashid in signing white-ball deal|
|Wigan to investigate pitch invasion after win over Manchester City|
|Drogba ´couldn´t be more proud´ as son signs for Guingamp|
|Stones making no excuses for shock Wigan defeat|
|Bellugi scathing of Inter form and transfer policy|
|Ringrose could make Six Nations impact after comeback|
|Rakitic: I´ve not seen Messi in the gym this often|
|Winter Olympics 2018: Slovenian ice hockey star Jeglic sent home after positive doping test|
|Sevilla v Manchester United: Montella and Mourinho unified in pursuit of identity|
|Besiktas face Bayern test, Messi seeks to end drought - Champions League in Opta numbers|
|Jose Morais: The Mourinho acolyte bringing Barcelona to Barnsley|