In a move that will shock no one, Napoli have agreed to a permanent deal for David Opsina in the £3-4 million range. The Colombian goalkeeper made 24 appearances for Napoli last season on loan from Arsenal, helping the side secure second place in Serie A. Yes, David Ospina will be playing in the Champions League for another season while Arsenal continue their endless struggle in the Europa League.
Ospina joined Arsenal in 2014 from Nice for roughly his selling price to Napoli. He appeared for Arsenal 70 times during his six seasons in London, winning two FA Cups (2015 & 2017) and the Community Shield in 2018. During his tenure at Arsenal, he kept 27 clean sheets across all competitions and allowed 76 goals (avg. 1.08 per match). At the international level, Ospina has been capped by Colombia nearly 100 times and has appeared in two World Cups (2014 & 2018).
Ospina never really blossomed into the club keeper that his early international performances suggested he might become. A year after he joined the club, Petr Cech arrived from Chelsea, relegating the Colombian to cup and European matches. When the Gunners brought in Bernd Leno last summer, the prevailing belief was that Ospina’s days in North London were numbered.
Petr Cech’s retirement did nothing to change Ospina’s status. Bernd Leno is the number one keeper at Arsenal, and Ospina wasn’t going to supplant him. At Napoli, he is guaranteed at least a split starting role.
Barring something unexpected, Leno will be Arsenal’s number one keeper again this season. Emiliano Martinez is the likely backup with either Matt Macey or the newly signed academy player James Hillson as the third.
Ospina is the fifth senior player to leave the club this summer, along with Cech, Aaron Ramsey, Danny Welbeck, and Stephan Lichtsteiner. The fee from Napoli won’t quite cover the reported £6m for new Brazilian attacker Gabriel Martinelli, but it’s good to see the club getting something for guys who don’t have a long-term future with the club and trimming the wage bill.
Best of luck in Italy David!