By Chris Harris
Wojciech Szczesny did not realise how popular Arsenal were until he visited Asia last summer.
The goalkeeper will be part of the squad that returns to the Far East this month for matches, training sessions and events in Malaysia, China and Hong Kong.
Szczesny is accustomed to the support of 60,000 Arsenal devotees at Emirates Stadium but he wasn’t expecting the reception the team received on tour.
"The highlight for me last year was realising how many fans we have so far away from the UK," Szczesny told Arsenal Player.
"We were shocked really, we didn't expect anything like it. We thought we were going to be there for a nice trip, play a couple of games, have a few training sessions, and that's it, but people were outside the hotel 24/7.
"It gives you the idea of how big a club this is and it's something that stuck in my mind.
"In every training session just one single good move from a single player gets the fans going. They're very positive and as I said we enjoyed the trip because of that, because of the fans. That's what we are looking forward to again."
Arsenal will face Manchester City at Beijing's 'Bird's Nest' stadium during the China leg of the tour and Szczesny is relishing the chance to take on the Premier League champions on foreign soil.
"I think it's important in the first place that we get to play against quality opponents," he said. "Man City are one of the best teams in Europe and it's good that during the pre-season we get to test ourselves against a team like that.
"I've never seen the 'Bird's Nest' so I don't know what it is like. But I'm looking forward to playing there and, hopefully, even though it is only a friendly, we manage to beat them."
Watch the full interview with Wojciech on Arsenal PlayerCopyright 2017 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source