David Ospina has lost the number one spot at Napoli to Alex Meret in the last couple of months, despite the Colombian showing good form when he is in the team.
Up until mid-December, Ospina had a regular spot in the Napoli side. The Arsenal goalkeeper, on loan until the end of the season, started just over half of the Serie A matches up until that point, as well as playing every single minute of the Champions League group stage.
Unfortunately for him, Alex Meret then fully recovered from injury, and the 21-year-old Italian has started six of the last seven league games, as well as the most recent cup match.
It remains to be seen which goalkeeper will play in the Europa League knockout stages, though Gazzetta.it report Ospina is likely to retake his place in the competition. Nonetheless, that’s still going to leave him with significantly fewer games to play than in the first half of the campaign, particularly if Napoli get knocked out early.
From Ospina’s point of view, being dropped to the bench must be pretty disheartening. After all, the goalkeeper has kept three clean sheets in his last three games, and he was really starting to find his feet in Italy. Gazzetta call him ‘very reliable’, and add that he’s ‘repeatedly been decisive’ during his loan spell so far.
However, they go on to point out that both Aurelio De Laurentiis and Carlo Ancelotti were clear with Ospina that he would be Meret’s backup when the young goalkeeper returned. They hope that the Italian shot-stopper could be their number one for the next 10 years, so it’s going to be hard to displace him now.
Whether this will affect Napoli’s decision on whether or not to activate Ospina’s purchase clause and make his transfer permanent, we’ll have to wait and see.