With Petr Cech seemingly very close to signing for Arsenal according to Sky Sports, Arsene Wenger has to decide on the futures of our three current keepers as we certainly don’t need four shotstoppers draining our wages.
Damien Martinez is obviously going out on loan again, but one of the other two are definitely surplus to requirements. Now if this was a discussion on purely footballing ability I would have no hesitation in saying “Keep Ospina”, but there are now new ways of looking at the situation.
The FA, in their wisdom, have changed the rules in an attempt to improve the England international team, so that all clubs must, from now, have a minimum of 8 home-grown players in the squad, which is set to increase to 12 by 2020. This is going to cause a lot of imbalance in the transfer market, and clubs like Manchester City, (who currently have THREE homegrown players!) are going to have to spend ridiculous amounts of money to fulfil their quota.
To qualify as home-grown, a player must have been registered with a club affiliated to the FA or the Welsh FA for a period of three seasons prior to his 21st birthday.
Arsenal, though, are quite well-stocked compared to most Premiership sides, with Aaron Ramsey, Theo Walcott, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Jack Wilshere, Kieran Gibbs, Calum Chambers, Danny Welbeck, and Hector Bellerin making our regulation 8. As the numbers increase we will have to find more English youngsters in the future, hopefully from our academy. This is where my argument comes in that we have to keep Szczesny and let Ospina go, as the Pole (and Damien Martinez too) qualify as home grown under the rules.
So it makes perfect sense for Wenger to keep as many home-grown players as possible if he has to make tough choices. And that means we will HAVE to say goodbye to Ospina….