Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Ospina Is Ready to Quit Arsenal after Being Kept out in the Cold by Cech

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Ospina Is Ready to Quit Arsenal after Being Kept out in the Cold by Cech

Article excerpt

Byline: JamesOlley Chief Football Correspondent

DAVID OSPINA is ready to quit Arsenal at the end of the season. The 27-year-old goalkeeper has made just four appearances for the Gunners this season after having his first-team opportunities restricted by the PS10million arrival of Petr Cech from Chelsea last summer.

Ospina has played the same number of matches for Columbia as he has at club level and the situation has led to mounting frustration at a lack of game time.

Gunners boss Arsene Wenger remains a big admirer of Ospina and is set to start him in Saturday's FA Cup fifth- round clash against Hull at Emirates Stadium. But Standard Sport understands Ospina feels he is at a place in his career where he should be playing regularly and that his performances for the club last season prove he is capable of performing at the highest level.

Ospina is credited with helping instigate a turnaround in fortunes at the beginning of last year which saw Arsenal go on to pick up more Premier League points than any other team.

He was drafted into the side after Wojciech Szczesny compounded an error-strewn New Year's Day defeat at Southampton by being caught smoking in the showers afterwards and subsequently kept 10 clean sheets in 24 matches from that point onwards.

But Cech's presence has stunted Ospina's progress. Wenger faces a huge fight to keep him next season, especially after claiming that Cech could stay at the club for the next five years, but he is desperate to avoid losing Ospina while mindful of the tough position he is now in.

"It was a very, very difficult decision for me [to sign Cech] because I rate Ospina highly," said Wenger last month. "Ospina is a keeper who, in my opinion, is underrated, especially in England. But [signing Cech] was maybe one of the few opportunities to say, 'Okay, this is an obvious [transfer]. …

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