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David Ospina to Arsenal: Latest Transfer Details, Reaction and More

BELO HORIZONTE, BRAZIL - JUNE 14: Goalkeeper David Ospina of Colombia reacts after his team's second goal during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Group C match between Colombia and Greece at Estadio Mineirao on June 14, 2014 in Belo Horizonte, Brazil.  (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)
Quinn Rooney/Getty Images
Timothy RappFeatured ColumnistJuly 26, 2014

Like several of his Colombian teammates, David Ospina turned more than a few heads with an impressive World Cup this summer.

But perhaps the most important head he turned was that of Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger, as the club have finalised the transfer that will send the Colombian keeper from Nice to North London.

The club's official website confirmed the agreement: "David Ospina will join Arsenal Football Club on a long-term contract for an undisclosed fee."

Arsenal had reportedly been monitoring Ospina for some time, per the Mirror's Alan Nixon, but his solid showing at the World Cup—and his reasonable price tag—was enough to convince the Gunners to pull the trigger on a move to bring him to Emirates Stadium.

The keeper had spent the last six seasons with Nice, but in May declined to extend his contract, which was set to to expire after the 2014-15 season. Presumably, that decision was made with the hope of moving to a bigger club in the next year. 

If that was his intention, his wish was granted.

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - JUNE 28: David Ospina of Colombia celebrates after his team's first goal during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil round of 16 match between Colombia and Uruguay at Maracana on June 28, 2014 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.  (Photo by Matth
Matthias Hangst/Getty Images

Ospina made 29 starts a season ago for the French club, earning a 7.19 average match rating from WhoScored.com for his efforts. He was even more impressive in five starts in the World Cup, helping lead Colombia to the quarterfinals and earning an average 7.26 rating.

With Arsenal, however, Ospina will have to fight for the starting gig. At the moment, the incumbent keeper is Wojciech Szczesny, but Arsenal may not have just brought Ospina aboard to push him.

They may have also bought an upgrade.

Matt Spiro of beIN Sports certainly thinks so:

Juan Arango of World Soccer Talk agrees:

Statistically speaking, the two provide an interesting comparison. 

The stats below would suggest that while Ospina's defense kept him busier, he was more proficient in keeping balls out of his net. On the other hand, supporters of Szczesny would rightly argue that he played against better competition in the Premier League. 

Still, statistically speaking, Ospina was in rarefied air a year ago, according to David Wall of OptaJean:

Wojciech Szczesny vs. David Ospina, 2013-14 Season
PlayerLeague GamesClean SheetsGoals Conceded Per GameSaves Per Game
Wojciech Szczesny37161.112.05
David Ospina29120.892.79
Stats via Squawka Football

Not too shabby. Szczesny is a solid keeper in his own right but has a fight on his hands this season. That is why this signing is a win-win for the Gunners—either they've purchased an upgrade at keeper on the cheap, or they've bought an extremely talented deputy on the cheap who will push Szczesny to further heights. 

This signing won't move the needle like the additions of Alexis Sanchez and Mathieu Debuchy did, no, but it could end up being one of the most important decisions of the summer for Wenger and Company.

 

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