Arsene Wenger is set to hand goalkeeper David Ospina his Arsenal debut against Southampton in the Capital One Cup.
The Colombian net minder’s Gunners’ initiation has been on ice up until now owing to a thigh injury.
Now fully recovered, the ex-Nice gloveman will be given the opportunity to stake his claim for a regular place in the north Londoners’ side and a price of 21/10 says he’ll mark the occasion with a clean sheet.
Prior to the World Cup, Ospina will have been a dictionary-definition unknown quantity for the overwhelming majority of Gooners, so for those still not in the know, here’s the 411 on the man from Medellin.
Nice owe the Ligue 1 status they preserved by two points last season to the heroics of James Rodriguez’ brother-in-law, who kept a staggering 12 shut outs in 28 appearances for the team that survived relegation by two points when all was said and done.
That equates to 42 per cent of the games in which Ospina acted as designated onion bag warden that the Cote d’Azur club’s laundry remained unsullied.
He averaged a commendable 3.39 saves before allowing the opposition a goal, which he conceded at a rate of 0.89 per outing last term.
One simple fact underlines the 26-year-old’s importance to Nice: they lost each of the nine league games that he was unable to start, with 17 of the 46 in their goals against column coming in his absence.
His performed to a similar standard for Los Cafeteros at the World Cup, keeping two clean sheets in five outings and averaging 3.75 saves per goal given up in the land of samba.
When compared to incumbent Arsenal number one Wojciech Szczesny’s stats, it’s clear to see who is superior.
The Pole could only manage four more clean sheets, despite playing for one of the Premier League’s leading lights, averaging a concession 1.11 times per outing.
His saves per goal rate was also inferior, registering at a paltry-by-comparison average of 1.95.
The conclusion of this study tells us that Arsenal fans can expect plenty of saves, clean sheets and, ultimately, a new first-choice keeper from Ospina.