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Besiktas Interested in Signing David Ospina

It’s another Friday and I’m looking forward to the weekend. It’s not like there’s any Arsenal match to look forward too. Maybe it’s just the part where I take a break from work and start to unwind. A lot has been happening in Nigeria these days but that’s talk for another day.

The news making the rounds is that Besiktas are sniffing around for the services of David Ospina,

“Nothing has been agreed on yet but we are targeting Ospina.”

These were the words of the club’s sporting director, Gokhan Keskin, who seems likely to come with a delegation to North London sometime in the summer to declare their intentions for the shot stopper. It’s also worth noting that Besiktas wanted to buy Ospina in the winter transfer window last season but with Wojciech Szczesny at Roma and Emiliano Martinez was at Wolves, so it was impossible to leave Petr Cech with his backup as Matt Macey. As he weeks went by, Cech suffered a muscular injury paving the way for Ospina to get a run out in goal.

Ospina has been a very decent goalie for the Gunners and he has managed to notch up 36 appearances for the team but he’s 27 years old, has Champions League experience and is the No. 1 goalie for his country with 64 caps to his name. He has been very patient at the club, from when he signed with an injury and waited till December to make his Premier League debut, till winning his place in the starting lineup only to lose it in the next season to a more experienced Cech.

It’s evident that Arsene Wenger would have to be the one to make a decision on Ospina’s future especially with the fact that Szczesny and Martinez are returning to the club. Another issue I have is the offer on the table – according to the Daily Star, Besiktas wants to pay £3 million for the Colombian shot stopper. If that’s truly the offer from the Turks, I’d say they should shove it up their arses and look elsewhere.

Ospina is currently focused on doing well in the Copa America with Colombia and we will have to wait for his return before his future would be sorted out.

Sayonara.

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Rating Arsenal’s Goalkeepers’ Performances in the 2015/16 Season

With the season well and truly over, it’s time to look back at some of the way some members of the team performed in the course of the 2015/16 season.

Without much ado, let’s start shall we?

Petr Cech (43 Appearances, 21 Clean Sheets)

Arsenal fans will always admit that Petr Cech was a ‘steal’. The superb goalie that had served Chelsea for 11 years notching up a record 220 clean sheets in 486 appearances moved from West to North London and immediately made the goalkeeping position his for keeps. It was evident that the likes of Wojciech Szczesny, David Ospina and Emiliano Martinez were never going to contest with the legendary goalkeeper.

Cech proved his worth over the course of the season, calming the defense and making a plethora of saves including this astonishing double save against Stoke at the Britannia. In 34 Premier League games, Cech made 101 saves and kept 16 clean sheets making him a forerunner for the Golden Glove awards. If you add the three clean sheets in the Champions League, one in the FA Cup and one in the Community Shield, that took his tally to 21 for the campaign, which is certainly impressive for a goalie in his debut season with a club.

With Cech currently 33, he still has so many years ahead of him and he’s going to be a mainstay at the club for years to come.

Rating – 8/10

 

David Ospina (12 Appearances, Four Clean Sheets)

With Cech arriving at the club, it was evident that either Ospina or Szczesny was going to make way because it was going to be a challenge keeping all three goalies happy so the Pole was shipped out to AS Roma to get regular game time. That meant that Ospina was going to play second fiddle to Cech when he returned from his Copa America.

Due to Cech’s status as Arsenal’s No. 1 goalie, Ospina had to wait till March to make his first Premier League appearance and this was due to the fact that Cech suffered a bizarre thigh injury in the defeat to Swansea. Ospina kept two clean sheets in the four Premier League games he played. He was also the traditional ‘Cup keeper’ and featured regularly in the domestic cup competitions, but he was under the spotlight when he was selected ahead of Cech in the Champions League game against Olympiakos.

Ospina has proven that he is a dependable second choice goalie and despite his meager appearances this season, he made a good account of himself.

Rating – 7/10

 

Sayonara

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Ospina Wants to Stay But Will Arsenal Let Him?

 

Everton interested in Ospina… hmm

David Ospina, as we all know, is somewhere at the edge of the world basking the Sun and having a swell time with his family. He spent a considerable chunk of the summer protecting the goal of his country, Colombia, in the recently concluded Copa America and in the four games he played in the tournament, he kept an impressive three clean sheets which included world champions like Brazil and Argentina.

Back in North London, his place in the squad as obviously been taken over by Petr Cech (see pictures of him training) and with Wojciech Szczesny still on Arsenal’s books as well, many believe that it would be impossible for the Gunners to use all three goalies in the course of the 2015/16 season.

The Metro published a piece a while ago reporting that Ospina had agreed personal terms with Turkish club, Fenerbahce, and a fee in the region of £4 million had been agreed between both parties (Arsenal and Fenerbahce). In the wake of Ospina’s quotes from a recent interview, it seems that the Fenerbahce story is bollocks and the closest team keen of securing his services is Premier League outfit, Everton.

Ospina has recently reiterated his desire to see out his four year contract with the club,

“There are some possibilities of playing on other teams, and I always look and analyse things, but my mind is at Arsenal. I’m happy in London and my family is too, so we hope, at least, to respect the contract with the club.

“For me, coming to a big team like Arsenal is a dream come true. The balance is positive, collectively we won the FA Cup and achieved direct qualification to the Champions League, unfortunately we could not fight for the Premier League title, as Chelsea won it too easily.”

Coming from a club like OGC Nice to one of the greatest teams in world football is certainly a dream come true to any footballer and Ospina had to work hard to keep his place in the squad when Szczesny’s shenanigans paved the way for him. Ospina played 18 Premier League games (20 games in total) and kept eight clean sheets in the competition (10 clean sheets in total). He conceded 11 goals in the league with seven from open play and four from corners. He averaged at least two saves per game with his highest flurry of saves coming in the North London derby against Tottenham. He also averaged a claim success of 93 percent which, in my honest, was a great stat for keeper not really blessed with the height of his peers.

Ospina also took some time to speak about the interest from Everton,

“Everton are a competitive team, and showed good things in league last season. It’s a club to consider and a great opportunity.”

Everton finished in 11th place last season and Roberto Martinez has already delved into the transfer market to sign three players that could improve the team – Tom Cleverley from Aston Villa, Gerard Deulofeu from Barcelona and David Henen from Olympiakos. With veteran goalie and Everton stalwart, Tim Howard, 36, getting towards the twilight of his career with the club, signing a goalie like Ospina would be an upgrade for the Toffees.

It’s a situation he’d have to access, bearing in mind that Arsenal has Cech now. He also had a thing or two to say about the new signing,

“Next season we’ll have next to an excellent keeper in Cech, who is recognised and admired, and I’d be honoured to share with him, he’s a player with great experience. You learn every day, and in this position we stop learning when we retire.”

“We’ll see what happens when I return, and I’ll have a conversation with the coach, but now I’m psyched to continue with the club.”

I think that ‘conversation’ with the boss will go a very long way in deciding Ospina’s future with Arsenal. Not too long ago, Lukas Podolski and his agent, Nassim Touihri, had a ‘conversation’ with Arsene Wenger and he confirmed to both individuals that he could not guarantee Podolski first team football, which led to the German’s move to Galatasaray.

We are coming to see how the situation develops in the coming weeks and I’d keep you posted as always.

Sayonara.

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