David Ospina is close to leaving Arsenal and joining Napoli on a permanent basis, according to Football.London.
The Colombian spent the 2018/19 season with the Serie A side on loan, making a total of 24 appearances in all competitions; cleverly crafted by Napoli as 25 games would have made the permanent switch for a sum of £4 million mandatory. It was a deliberately devised plan which, Napoli hope, will enable them to sign the goalkeeper now for £3 million.
Arsenal signed Ospina back in 2014 for the reportedly same amount – £3 million, following his fine performances for his country in the World Cup that year. However, he never reached the level expected of an Arsenal goalkeeper. He played second fiddle to Wojciech Szczesny for a year, before the Pole moved on to AS Roma and Petr Cech arrived. His luck didn’t change when Arsene Wenger left the club after 22 years and Unai Emery arrived, and he was loaned out to Napoli. In the four years he spent at the Emirates, Ospina made 70 appearances in all competitions, most of which came in cups and European competitions.
He had a very good season in Naples, establishing himself as the undisputed No.1 choice under manager Carlo Ancelotti, and now both the Italian tactician and club president Aurelio De Laurentiis are hoping to reel him in as a full-time employee.
With Cech retired from playing professional football now, Arsenal are once again in need for a backup shot-stopper, this time for Bend Leno. However, it wouldn’t be realistic to expect the 30-year-old to return and play second fiddle again. He is about to enter the final 12 months of his contract, and it makes perfect sense for the Gunners to try and get at least something for his services, rather than have him sitting on the bench and losing him on a free next year.