Despite starring in Arsenal’s run to FA Cup glory, Łukasz Fabiański decided not to renew his contract at Arsenal. The Polish international was looking for more regular first team football and hopes to have found that at Swansea City. The departure of the long time Arsenal man meant the Gunners were left with only one first team goalkeeper, Wojciech Szczęsny.
Arsene Wenger has done well early in the transfer window at addressing the needs of his squad with the signings of Alexis Sanchez and Mathieu Debuchy. Wenger looks like he is ready to make another purchase to fill the need of second goalkeeper with the potential signing of David Ospina. The president of Ospina’s current team, Nice, has said that the Colombian international will join the London based side. After an impressive World Cup with Los Cafeteros, Ospina looks set to make the move from France to England. While some may think it’s just a second choice goalkeeper, Ospina could be a big signing for Arsenal in this upcoming season.
The biggest impact Ospina may have at the Emirates could be pushing first choice goalkeeper Wojciech Szczęsny. It is a strong possibility that the Colombian international will only play in the domestic cup games for Arsene Wenger. Even if the former Atletico Nacional goalkeeper does nothing more than play cup games his impact on Szczesny could be vital. The Polish goalkeeper had the best season of his career last season. Many, including Szczesny himself, would credit some of his improvement to when he was dropped for Fabiański at the end of 2012/2013.
A similar situation happened this season with the Champions, Manchester City. Joe Hart had been on a poor run of form early in the season. The English number one was dropped for Costel Pantilimon for seven straight Premier League games. Hart eventually regained his number one spot and was reinvigorated. Hopefully, it doesn’t have to come to dropping Szczesny to have an effect on him. The hope would be that the Colombian’s presence is enough to push the Polish keeper to play at his top level and improve further.
The actual on the pitch contribution that Ospina could make, is as, the domestic cup keeper. These days most of the bigger clubs play their number two goalkeeper in the FA Cup and the Capital One Cup. Having a good back up goalkeeper can help a team win one of those competitions. There are good examples at both ends of the spectrum of that in Arsenal’s run to FA Cup glory.
In their match vs Liverpool at the Emirates in the fifth round of the FA Cup, Arsenal’s former number two, Łukasz Fabiański, kept the Gunners in the match. The now Swansea goalkeeper, made some key saves specifically on Daniel Sturridge and Luis Suarez helping Arsene Wenger’s men to a 2-1 victory and advance into the sixth round. The flip side example was in the gunners sixth round tie vs Everton. Joel Robles started instead of Everton’s usual number one, Tim Howard. While he didn’t make a mistake leading to a goal, Joel looked very shaky throughout the match. Arsenal won the match 4-1 getting them through to the semi finals.
Signing a second choice goalkeeper is not a sexy signing but it is an important one. If this Ospina signing happens, every indication is that it will, Arsenal will have themselves a strong back up goalkeeper for a good price. The Colombian international would be another astute signing from Wenger and be a continuation of Arsenal’s strong summer transfer window.