Yesterday I blogged about how David Ospina was set to return to Arsenal following his loan spell at Napoli. A lot of people responded on social media saying that Emiliano Martinez should be Arsenal #2 next season and not Ospina.
This baffles me.
Some have claimed that Martinez has been “immense at Reading”, that he has “great potential” and is better than Ospina.
This baffles me.
Last summer, Carlo Ancelotti took Ospina on loan to Napoli to replace long term injured Alex Meret as #1. He felt Ospina was good enough to play week in, week out, for the 2nd best team in Italy. What he did not do is take Martinez on loan – who was also available.
So Carlo Ancelotti literally believed Ospina was a better goal keeper than Martinez.
If I said that this summer, Arsenal were interested in signing an international #1 with nearly 100 caps for his country. A 30-year-old goal keeper with nearly 400 appearances and has played in the Premier League, Ligue 1 and Italy – with over 330 top flight starts.
A goal keeper that started 16 times in Serie A last season for the team that finished 2nd, making 6 starts in the Champions League. And he was a free transfer.
If this was given as a profile for Petr Cech’s replacement the response would be “sounds ideal”. Yet for some reason people are turning their nose up at Ospina and are favouring Martinez.
There is a reason why last season Ospina was playing week in, week our for Napoli in Seria A and the Champions League’ and Martinez was at Reading who finished 20th in the Championship.
Martinez is 26-years-old. He has been at Arsenal for 8 years. He has played just 14 games.
In that time he has been on loan to Oxford United, Sheffield Wednesday, Rotherham United, Wolverhampton Wanderers, Getafe and Reading.
In the time Martinez has been at Arsenal Wojciech Szczęsny, Lukasz Fabianski, Vito Mannone, David Ospina, Petr Cech and Bernd Leno were all picked ahead of him at some point or another.
Up to this point he has not exactly had a stellar career. He is now 26-years-old so talk of him having “potential” are way off the mark.
When you compare the careers of Ospina and Martinez up to this point, it is clear and obvious that one is a top class goal keeper, the other is not.
It baffles me that people are putting Martinez ahead of Ospina.
If one was to create a list of potential #2 keepers, you would want them to be an experienced international. Two names that spring to mind are Guillermo Ochoa and Keylor Navas. Ospina is in their class.
So why sell Ospina for £5million to then buy on of those for £10-15million. Might as well stick with Ospina.
When it comes down to Ospina v Martinez, there is one who is an experienced campaigner with nearly 100 caps, and another who is 26-years-old and has not even played 100 games.