David Ospina says playing for Arsenal is a dream come true and he understands the responsibility of following the footsteps of greats such as David Seaman and Jens Lehmann.
“I always watched the Premier League when I was in Colombia because that was one of the leagues they showed on television,” he told Arsenal Player.
“I see it as a big responsibility to come to a great club like Arsenal – it’s a dream come true. Now it’s my job to make the most of this opportunity that’s come my way, thanks to God and thanks to everyone here at the club.
Ospina continued about all the other goalkeepers that he looks up to and how he sees himself in comparison to his peers in other teams and clubs.
“In Colombia everyone looks up to Rene Higuita,” added Ospina. “Then there were three other goalkeepers that were very important: Faryd Mondragon, Oscar Cordoba and the late Miguel Calero. They were very important to Colombian goalkeeping and achieved great things outside of the country.
“In Europe, I’ve always admired Iker Casillas. There’s Manuel Neuer now, who’s a great goalkeeper, and Buffon. You try to emulate them – they’ve won lots of titles playing for massive teams.
“There are some very good goalkeepers in the Premier League, too. There’s De Gea, Hugo Lloris, Hart – they’re great keepers who’ve proved their worth over the course of many seasons and are continuing to do so now.
“At Arsenal we have very good goalkeepers in the shape of Wojciech Szczesny and Emiliano Martinez. The Premier League has always had top-quality goalkeepers.”
Having secured 4 consecutive clean sheets since he was drafted in to replace Szczesny, Ospina has made it difficult for Arsene Wenger to drop him. Not only has he not made any mistakes, he has also been a calm presence in the box and in front of goal, showing particular decision making abilities when it comes to crosses into the box. He has made some very good saves, especially the spectacular late save in the game against Aston Villa.
Wenger may be noncommittal about which goalkeeper would start in the next game, it would be a real surprise if Ospina did get dropped and preference was given to Szczesny. The Polish keeper hasn’t done much to prove that he is better than Ospina, while Ospina hasn’t put a foot wrong since he’s come into the team. It will be interesting to see who continues to get the nod.