Name: David Ospina
International Caps: 48
After Lukasz Fabianski’s defection to Swansea City, Arsenal are believed to be in the market for another goalkeeper this summer to provide competition for Wojciech Szczesny. On the back of his fine displays with Colombia, Ospina is the latest in a long list of names to be linked to the Gunners. The 25 year old managed a clean sheet in his country’s first knockout tie with Uruguay and will look to do the same against Brazil later this evening.
Despite signing a new deal fairly recently, Nice are reportedly willing to sell Ospina for as little as £3 million. Arsene Wenger is believed to have been monitoring the Colombian’s performances in Ligue 1 this season and will have undoubtedly been impressed by the goalkeeper’s displays in Brazil so far.
The French club’s stance becomes even more puzzling when the statistics are taken into consideration. With Ospina in the side, Nice conceded an average 0f 0.83 goals per game, a figure that ballooned to 2.22 in his absence. Standing at six feet tall, the 25 year old’s reflexes and mobility have helped the ‘keeper pull off a string of stunning saves for club and country in the last year.
Although James Rodriguez stole the show in Colombia’s 2-0 victory over Uruguay, Ospina performed a number of vital stops to keep the likes of Edinson Cavani and Cristian Rodriguez at bay. In his post-match interview, opposing manager Oscar Tabarez emphasised the 25 year old’s role in the match, stating “we had to take risks to reduce the deficit, but we came up against a ‘keeper who performed extraordinarily well.”
However, in looking for a goalkeeper capable of handling the rigours of the Premier League, Ospina’s relatively short stature will no doubt be of some concern to Wenger. In Ligue 1 at times this season, the Colombian was guilty of committing costly errors by charging off of his line at the wrong moments.
Nevertheless, Nice were certainly better with Ospina in their side and it is remarkable to read that they seem willing to part with the 25 year old’s services. Many believe that Wojciech Szczesny requires strong competition at the Emirates to keep him on his toes and the Colombian could be just the man to do that. For such a small fee, Wenger would be acquiring an international calibre goalkeeper that could easily replace the Pole as the number one at the Emirates next season.