Arsene Wenger has heaped praise on last season’s first choice shot-stopper David Ospina, and claims he is working hard to regain his place following the arrival of Petr Cech from Chelsea.
The Colombian wrestled a starting spot off of Wojciech Szczesny last season, and produced a number of solid displays to keep his Polish teammate on the bench.
Wenger claims the 27-year-old – who has just had his birthday – has responded fantastically to being dropped however, and is battling hard to knock Cech from his perch.
“He’s responded very well,” Wenger said, as quoted by Arsenal.com.
“David Ospina is a very strong man and a fantastic goalkeeper.
“He’s ready for the fight and will give Petr Cech a hard time. There will be enough room for him to play games as well, maybe sometimes to come in during the season.
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“Why shouldn’t he be able to win his No 1 shirt back? That’s the target for him and I’m convinced he will fight for that.”
The signing of the Czech international must have been a blow for Ospina, and almost certainly would have dented his confidence somewhat. We only signed the former Nice star last summer, so to replace him in the starting XI a year later sends a serious message – especially considering he didn’t really put a foot wrong.
Unfortunately for Ospina, Wenger pounced when he learned of the availability of Petr Cech. And, while our 2014 signing performed well when given the chance, he never really had a chance up against a player the calibre of Cech.
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It’s fantastic to hear that he’s working hard in training in an attempt to dethrone the ex-Blues keeper though, as we need a solid second choice between the sticks in case we suffer our usual glut of injuries.