Arsenal set to sell star for £3m and replace him by recalling loanee

TURIN, ITALY - SEPTEMBER 29: David Ospina of SSC Napoli during the Srie A match between Juventus and SSC Napoli at Allianz Stadium on September 29, 2018 in Turin, Italy. (Photo by Gabriele Maltinti/Getty Images )
TURIN, ITALY - SEPTEMBER 29: David Ospina of SSC Napoli during the Srie A match between Juventus and SSC Napoli at Allianz Stadium on September 29, 2018 in Turin, Italy. (Photo by Gabriele Maltinti/Getty Images )

Arsenal are finally set to sell David Ospina to Napoli, with Emi Martinez returning from his loan spell with Reading to take the back-up goalkeeper spot in North London.

Emi Martinez makes save for Reading against Aston Villa (Photo via Twitter / EmiMartinezz1)
Emi Martinez makes save for Reading against Aston Villa (Photo via Twitter / EmiMartinezz1)

Football.London confirm reports from Italy earlier this week that Ospina is now close to completing his permanent move to Napoli, with a deal to be finalised ‘in the coming days’. A full agreement is reportedly imminent, with Arsenal taking around £3m for the Colombian.

Ospina made 24 appearances for Napoli in the 2018/19 season, keeping eight clean sheets. He’ll leave Arsenal after five years, 70 appearances and 27 clean sheets in North London.

Meanwhile, Martinez is set to benefit from Ospina’s departure, as another of Arsenal’s goalkeepers who went on loan last season. With Petr Cech retiring and the 26-year-old performing excellently with Reading in the Championship, he’s now set to get a chance with the Gunners.

Martinez made more saves and more high claims per 90 minutes than any other goalkeeper in the Championship last season (minimum 10 appearances), maintaining an excellent save percentage of 77%.

Though it may have been a bit more of a risk to gamble on him if Arsenal had returned to the Champions League, the Europa League group stage and the cup competitions should provide a perfect platform for the Argentine goalkeeper to prove himself in the fight for the number one spot.