Arsenal are slithering ever-closer to finalising a deal for Nice net minder David Ospina, with the clubs agreed that a bargain £3.2m is a fair price for the Colombian goalkeeper.
The Gunners – 6/1 shots to win the Premier League title this season – are in need of a second stopper following the departure of calamitous Pole Lukasz Fabianski.
However, it seems unlikely that a keeper of Ospina’s prestige would settle for the strictly ancillary role that his predecessor was forced to play. Here’s how he measures up against incumbent number one Wojciech Szczesny:
Arsene Wenger has spoke of his intent to provide Szczesny with genuine competition next term and, despite his first-choice markedly improving his performances last time around, the new recruit could well steal the mantle.
The Polish international was the superior clean sheet keeper, but the Colombian’s exploits deserve a greater share of the plaudits.
He fell just four shut outs shy of his Arsenal counterpart, despite holding the fort for a team that finished fourth from bottom in Ligue 1, dodging the drop by two points.
In stark contrast, the north Londoners finished fourth from top of the Premier League and it stands to reason that if Ospina was guarding the net of a Gunners team boasting a far stronger defence than that of the Riviera-dwelling outfit, he would’ve collected more bagels last season.
Furthermore, the World Cup keeper conceded fewer goals per appearance than the man he’ll be aiming to oust from the Arsenal onion bag, while his 3.39 saves per game on average suggests his heroics were largely responsible for Nice being spared of relegation ignominy last time around.
Should he replicate this standard in the Premier League, Szczesny will do well to maintain his status as Gunners number one in the long term.