Arsene Wenger heaped praise on summer signing David Ospina following our 5-0 win over Aston Villa, but insisted that the Colombian shot-stopper hasn’t done enough to be considered the No.1 just yet, according to the Evening Standard.
The 26-year-old was struggling with injury at the start of the season, and looked less than impressive against Southampton during our 2-1 Capital One Cup loss. He has found his feet in the Premier League however, and has put in a number of superb performances over the last few weeks.
He has been competing with Wojciech Szczesny for a starting berth, but with the Pole’s recent dip in form it hasn’t been much of a competition.
Despite Szczesny underperforming somewhat, Wenger claims he is still the No.1. Ospina has been impressive however, and could wrestle the title away from his teammate if he continues in this vein.
“David Ospina has had some time to settle because he was injured when he arrived here,” he said.
“During that time we could see his dedication, his focus and his quality. He’s in a fight with Wojciech Szczesny to start at the moment. Wojciech is the No1 but David has played recently. Can he retain the shirt in the coming games? We’ll decide that.”
He was careful not to leave out Emiliano ‘Damien’ Martinez, who put in a handful of solid performances when both senior keepers were absent due to injury and/or suspension.
“I don’t forget Emiliano Martinez either, who I rate highly. We have three top goalkeepers and the fight for who starts is going on,” he continued.
Our £3m summer signing has been excellent, but I agree with Wenger that he hasn’t done enough to be labelled the undisputed No.1. He has benefited greatly from more robust and organised defensive displays, although how much of that is down to his leadership remains unclear.
It is fantastic to see some decent competition for the jersey, and hopefully it inspires both of them to kick on and improve.
Szczesny’s got all the talent in the world – he just needs to apply himself, and perhaps the competition breathing down his neck will inspire him to knuckle down.