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The moment Lukas Fabianski made it clear that he will be leaving Arsenal, all eyes were on Arsene Wenger to find out who comes in as replacement. Lukas had made it pretty clear that he wants to play more and that search for more games took him to Swansea City. The Summer World Cup was audition for a lot of players who were looking to move on from their existing clubs. As ever, there are some stars who flop and some lesser known players who shine at the tournaments. Normally, in the last decade we have seen that Wenger goes for the unknown players. Not this time though.
Genuine top quality keeper signs for Gunners
David Ospina who has been a star in French club team, Nice, signed for Arsenal for an undisclosed fee. The word is, the fee was is the region of about £3m. Ospina, who went to Nice in 2008 as a replacement for Hugo Lloris, was a star for the Colombian National team at the World Cup 2014. His displays stood out when he played against Ivory Coast, Greece and also versus Brazil. He has played 48 times for his country since making his debut. In a world cup, where a lot of the national keepers were not first choice for their clubs it would have been easier to fall prey to their old reputation. It’s obvious that there will be controversy if a club number two is country’s number one especially in football powerhouses of Europe and South America. Iker for Spain and Cesar for Brazil were the prime examples. David Ospina was not only his club’s number one keeper but also for his country.
Fight for his place
The biggest requirement for a new goalkeeper at Arsenal is to fight for his place and make a claim to be number one. He has to put pressure on Szczesny, the Polish keeper, who is in control of the number one jersey at Arsenal. A lot of the goalkeepers don’t get a chance to be the number one and when they do, after sitting long periods on the bench, they are either not ready or somehow don’t grab the chance. Complacency has a part to play in it as well. Ospina on the other hand grabbed his opportunity when he was demoted to number two behind Joris Delle. He has not looked back since. This is one quality that a top class keeper has to have in today’s football. He has been through the routine of maintaining his hunger and the fight to regain his place at the same club. Easier option is to move to another club after one season.
Spectacular saves are all fine and are remembered for a long time but they are not bread and butter in a goalkeeper’s career. Goalkeepers can be remembered for those saves but they don’t make those saves without being in the hot seat for a considerable period of time. We should not go very far, let’s just look at what we saw in him during the World Cup 2014. Yes, he did make spectacular saves as well but that is not we need to look at. His judgement in the box was standout while dealing with the crosses. He was catching the ball at times. A skill that seems to be vanishing within the goalkeeping fraternity. He was obviously happy punching the ball and nowadays, it is seen as a valuable tool in the goalkeeping armoury. His distribution was top class with both the feet. He showed he can organise his defence and could become a leader at the back. When the team plays a higher line he has the ability to sweep and that is where his skills with the ball are handy.
He made saves, he was alert to the situations and he was putting his body on the line. Ospina overall looked a very assured keeper who gives a lot of confidence to his defence and therefore the whole team feels composed in defensive situations. Like Alexis and Debuchy this season, David Ospina is a great buy for the north London outfit and will strengthen them immensely in the goalkeeping department. Szczesny will benefit from genuine competition as well. Quality players added to the team have never harmed a squad and competition for places keeps players honest and true about their game.
Arsenal’s new 26 year old keeper, who will wear the number 13 jersey at Arsenal is 6 feet tall. David is brother in law of James Rodriguez, his Colombian team mate and golden boot winner at the 2014 world cup, now a Real Madrid player.