There is no rule set by UEFA to stop David Ospina from playing against Arsenal in the Europa League, it depends on the agreement he has with his parent club. Knowing how we are managed off the field at times, it would be like Arsenal not to have given the situation any thought. If the Colombian asks the question though, it should be quite a straightforward answer.
At the moment the keeper isn’t first choice in Italy but that’s not based on anything he has done. In fact, it’s a simple case of Napoli trying to buy on the cheap. If the player features in a certain amount of games, it activates a clause where they have to buy him. The fact that clause is only 4 million again highlights how we need to get better at getting the correct valuation for those we sell. That those in Naples think they can go even cheaper highlights either that they have no money or believe we are mugs.
With the emergence of Alex Meret, Carlo Ancelotti clearly feels there’s no need rush to activate any clause unless he has to. They’re comfortably 2nd In Serie A, miles off Juventus but with a healthy gap between them and 5th. In other words, there’s no reason to play Ospina domestically, as he can’t alter the title race. If there were a couple of fixtures his services might be required it would be a two-legged European tie.
As impressive as Meret has been, I’d rather face someone with little experience at this stage, compared to a man who has won FA Cup Finals and shone at World Cups. What if Meret gets injured in the next two weeks and suddenly his deputy is also unavailable? It’s this ruthless thinking we need to use, give yourself as much advantage as possible.
I can’t think the positives of letting Ospina play. He’s either motivated to earn a move or to prove to Emery he can be Cech’s replacement. He’s only conceded 14 goals in 17 games so far this season so is good enough to be a difference maker.