Arsenal keeping hold of their £3m star would help Emery spend money on other key positions on the pitch – opinion

Arsenal opinion: Should the Gunners keep or sell David Ospina?

According to claims from Italian news outlet Il Mattino, Napoli want to sign on-loan Arsenal goalkeeper David Ospina permanently at the end of the season.

The report claims that a permanent deal for the Colombian shot-stopper would be triggered automatically once he makes his 25th appearance of the season for Carlo Ancelotti’s side.

Ospina moved out on loan to the Stadio San Paolo last summer when new manager Unai Emery decided to bring in Bernd Leno from Bayer Leverkusen.

The 30-year-old has impressed on loan for Napoli and has made a total of 23 appearances for the Italian giants in all competitions this season, keeping the expensive Alex Meret out of the first-team and filling in the void left by Pepe Reina’s departure to AC Milan.

In fact, the Colombian has managed a total of 7 clean sheets for Ancelotti’s side in all competitions and has proven himself to be a huge bargain between the sticks.

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Ospina, who joined Arsenal for a fee of £3million from French side Nice back in 2014, made a total of 70 appearances for the Gunners in all competitions before joining Napoli on loan last summer.

He struggled to establish himself as the first-choice between the sticks under former manager Arsene Wenger and largely played second-fiddle to Petr Cech, though it has to be said that he didn’t do much wrong when he was presented with occasional opportunities.

The Colombian was used predominantly in the domestic cup competitions during his tenure at the Emirates and a shot-stopper of his quality certainly deserved better treatment than that.

To put things into perspective, it looked fair enough for Arsenal to let Ospina leave on loan last summer, as the Colombian would have struggled for regular minutes with both Leno and Cech in the ranks.

To be honest, very few fans at the Emirates would have rued his departure. Deemed surplus to the demands in north London, Ospina needed a move away from the club to rejuvenate his career, and it seemed like a virtual no-brainer even a few months back that the Gunners could do without his services if he was to leave permanently.

However, Petr Cech’s decision to hang up his boots at the end of the current season has changed the scenario completely. The retirement of the hugely-experienced Premier League veteran would leave a massive void in the goalkeeping department at the Emirates and Arsenal might find themselves short of adequate cover in the foreseeable future.

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Bringing in a new shot-stopper to cover for Cech’s departure might be on the cards in the summer but Arsenal need to be cautious with their dealings in the transfer window, with the Sun claiming that Unai Emery is likely to have only £40million at his disposal.

It is quite clear that the Spaniard needs a massive overhaul of the squad come the end of the season and working with such a tight budget won’t make his job any easier.

Arsenal currently find themselves under pressure to bring in an alternative for Aaron Ramsey. A new centre-back and a replacement for Nacho Monreal is also likely to be high on the manager’s wishlist given the team’s poor defensive record in the Premier League this season.

Suffice to say, the Gunners have plenty of areas in their squad that require investment and they would be better off keeping Ospina at the club as a back-up for Leno, though it remains to be seen whether the Colombian would be prepared to play that kind of a role any longer.

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Emiliano Martinez is another viable option for Arsenal but someone like Ospina can be deemed as a reliable presence between the sticks.

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Moreover, his heroics at Napoli should further convince the Gunners to give him a second chance to prove himself and fight for a place in the team.

Written by Sayan Chatterjee

A Premier League enthusiast and an avid follower of the beautiful game... keen eye for tactical battles and love to discuss the financial aspects of football...other hobbies include reading, listening to music, playing FIFA on PlayStation, traveling, etc.
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