With Chelsea interested in re-signing Petr Cech this summer, Arsenal have a decision to make on which of their goalkeepers they want to keep in and around the first-team in 2018/19.
New manager Unai Emery is spoilt for choice, with his new signing Bernd Leno (Bayern Leverkusen) joining Cech, David Ospina, Emiliano Martinez and Matt Macey as options between the sticks, but keeping all of them happy is an impossible task.
Martinez might have to be loaned out again to ensure he’s getting competitive football elsewhere if it’s not to be at Arsenal, but Ospina could play an important role for the Gunners. He’s been linked with an exit but may be worth keeping as a No.2 to Leno should Cech re-join Chelsea.
It’s unlikely Arsenal’s new goalkeeper Leno will play second fiddle this season, so Cech should be moved on. The 36-year-old has been a good servant to the Gunners, racking up 117 appearances in all competitions since his 2015-move from Chelsea, but he hasn’t had the impact fans will have hoped. Arsenal surely won’t turn down a move if a club makes an approach?
Cech largely struggled for consistency and was guilty of making errors leading to goals. He’s conceded 358 goals in 436 Premier League games in his career, but 32% of them have come in an Arsenal shirt. Cech spent three years at the Emirates and 11 at Stamford Bridge. He shipped 48 in the league last season and won’t be missed by fans if he does leave.
Ospina may not get fans too excited but keeping him for one more season does make sense given his age. The Colombian international will be out of contract in 12 months, but he’s still a good No.2 to have in case of an emergency. Ospina was between the sticks for his country against England in the World Cup in Russia.
Should the 29-year-old stay for one more season, he could leave on a free transfer in 2019, as per his contract. Ospina’s value isn’t exactly sky-high, so Arsenal wouldn’t lose out on much money, but it could factor in their decision. Cech is also in the last year of his deal and hasn’t done enough to warrant an extension, so selling him now might be a wise business move.
Leno is his replacement, so all Arsenal need is somebody to be his No.2. A young goalkeeper would be wasted in this role, but somebody a bit older who can be trusted to come in at short notice is ideal – Ospina, who has been a back-up for a number of years now.