In January 2006 Szczęsny joined the Arsenal youth set-up, progressing to the reserve team during the 2008–09 season. In November 2008, he lost his balance while lifting a heavy weight and both his forearms were fractured, causing him to miss five months. Szczęsny appeared on the first team bench for the first time during the Premier League match against Stoke City on 24 May 2009, remaining unused as the team concluded their season with a 4–1 victory at the Emirates Stadium. Following the release of Manuel Almunia, Szczęsny was given the vacated number 1 shirt. After a couple of months out with injury, Szczęsny made his return in the 5–2 win against Tottenham. On 13 March 2013, Szczęsny was dropped from the Arsenal team to play Bayern Munich in the Champions League. In Arsenal’s next Premier League match, against Swansea City, Szczęsny returned to the Arsenal squad but was named only as a substitute, with Łukasz Fabiański selected to start in goal by Arsène Wenger. On 20 April 2013, Szczęsny returned to the team in a Premier League match at home to Everton due to a rib injury sustained by Fabiański. In his first two matches back in the Arsenal goal, he kept consecutive clean sheets against Everton and Fulham respectively.