Soccer Journalists and Pundits alike termed it another master stroke from Arsene Wenger as news broke from France yesterday that Colombian International and OGC Nice goalkeeper, David Ospina, on Thursday, bade his teammates at Nice farewell in the wake of his move to Arsenal. The deal, reported to been between £3m and £3.5m would see the 25-year-old compete for the number one goalkeeper’s spot with young Pole Wojciech Szczesny. Reports also say that Nice were forced to accept such a low fee as Ospina was in the final year of his contract at the French Club. The World Cup Star was said to have agreed personal terms with Arsenal and would earn around £60k- a –week to be between the sticks at the Emirates. Today, Arsenal.com made the news official by announcing on the website, and that rarely happens on a Sunday.
Ospina has become Arsenal’s third signing in a summer that has seen the club splashing some cash to get World Class Stars in Alexis Sanchez from Barcelona and Mathieu Debuchy from Newcastle. This would bring the summer spending of the North London club, so far, to around £60m. The Colombian International used the World Cup to prove himself a worthy shot stopper to adorn the colors of any willing European football giant and Arsenal swiftly pounced on the deal that many refer to as an excellent piece of business. Ospina, who made his debut for the senior national team of Colombia as a substitute during the 2007 Kirin Cup against Uruguay, has established himself as the Colombian number one, following strings of spectacular performances with club and country. After making his first start for the national team in a 2010 FIFA World Cup qualification match against Bolivia, his rise to the number one spot had been unstoppable.
Standing at 1.83m (6 ft. 0 in), the Colombian, though is some 5 inches shorter than Szczesny who stands at 1.96 (6 ft. 5in), fits the bill to hand a very stiff competition to Wojciech Szczseny, who sometimes suffers the ‘’momentary loss of concentration’’ popularly associated with players especially goalkeepers. With the departures of fellow compatriot, Lukas Fabianski, and loanee Emiliano Viviano, Szczesny became the only senior keeper left in the Arsenal set up and the need arose to have a quality back up. With this deal done, Szczesny would have to prove beyond every air of doubt that he truly deserves the confidence he got from Arsene Wenger at age 19 in the 2009/2010 season, when he was promoted and given jersey number 53. In Ospina is a shot stopper that has good reflexes and showed his ability to organize his defence line to keep him from being exposed. Szczesny on his part, even though has shown good reflexes for Arsenal and would be very much noted for his super saves in ‘’one-on-one with attacker’’ situations, should see this as an opportunity to keep his position as number for a long time with even more super saves for the London side.
Welcome to Arsenal, David, we hope to use you as ammunition to conquer our Goliaths in the EPL.
Live up to the billing!!!