For the first time in a long while Arsenal supporters can approach the new Premier League season with a feeling of anticipation and excitement, and it’s not hard to see why after their summer so far.
After years of crying out for big investment in their squad Arsene Wenger has finally delved deep enough into his pockets to secure a world-class number nine in Alexandre Lacazette, also signing the promising Sead Kolasinac from Schalke, and it seems that Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil are staying put for the time being.
And with a feeling of hope growing around the Emirates as the opening day looms it’s not just the supporters that want to be a part of it, with a number of players ready to fight for first-team places.
Colombian David Ospina is the latest to come out and commit his short-term future to the Gunners amidst speculation – as per ESPN – of a move to Turkey, openly insisting that he is determined to tussle with Petr Cech for the number one role at the Emirates for the upcoming year.
Talking to the Evening Standard, Ospina said: “I have a contract here, I’m happy and I’m going to fight to the end, I want to continue and win a job.
“That’s what I’m working for, I’ve been working for three years and now I’m waiting for the opportunity.”
These are strong words of intent coming from the 28-year-old’s mouth just a fortnight before Arsenal’s season opener against Leicester City, and although it is unlikely that he will be selected ahead of the veteran Czech shot-stopper on August 11 he is clearly ready to pounce on any chance.
Despite playing second fiddle to Cech in the Premier League, Ospina started all eight of Arsenal’s Champions League matches last year and was used as the first-choice in their FA Cup triumph too.
Perhaps one of the most telling things is that he was preferred to Cech for the final against rivals Chelsea – much to Arsenal fan’s disgust at the time – but an exceptional performance on that occasion vindicated Wenger’s decision and gives him something to think about for the new season.
Even just from pre-season performances it is clear to see that the South American is hungry to impress this year, showing his agility and excellent close-range reflexes during the Emirates Cup.
There is no doubt Ospina has what it takes at the highest level. He is strong under the high ball, capable of the spectacular and gets down quickly. It is now just about getting that big opportunity.