Arsenal goalkeeping legend David Seaman has backed current number one Wojciech Szczesny to hold off summer signing David Ospina once the Colombian shot-stopper returns from injury.
Ospina, 26, arrived from Nice for £3 million following former backup Lukasz Fabianski’s departure for Swansea, with the ambition of pushing the Pole for the first-choice spot.
The World Cup star has since been ruled out until the New Year, however, after suffering a reoccurrence of a thigh problem last month, with Emiliano Martinez taking on number two duties in the meantime.
Nevertheless, with Szczesny's recent performances coming in for some criticism, plenty expect him to face serious competition from Ospina in the near future, but Seaman himself isn’t so sure.
“He’s [Szczesny’s] not making bad mistakes. He’s making great saves. He’s a big guy and he’s getting better because he came off his best season last season, winning a trophy,” Seaman told Sky Sports.
"I would have thought you could teach him the verbal side of things. It’s something that you learn. I didn’t go to Arsenal until I was 26 off the back of four years at QPR in the Premier League. I had all that experience and he’s learning at the highest level – the hardest level – and he’s only 24. People forget he’s still young and still has a lot of time.
“Some of his decision-making needs looking at. They need to get that on the videos and show him what he’s doing because sometimes he’s getting it wrong and that needs pointing out to him. At the moment, eight out of 10.”
Seaman admits he was impressed with Ospina’s showing during Colombia’s run the World Cup quarter-finals this summer, but is still to be convinced whether the 50-times capped international has what it takes to be more than just a motivating presence for his new teammate.
"It keeps Szczesny on his toes and that’s a good thing because you know if you have a couple of bad games there’s every chance you’ll be dropped,” he said.
“I had that when people like Alex Manninger came in and Richard Wright came in. I had Stuart Taylor pushing me as well. It was good because it gave me something to aim for – to be better than them, even in training. It just gives you an extra push.
"Ospina had a great World Cup. He’s a little bit small for an Arsenal goalkeeper but when he’s on the pitch he’s big – he makes the goal look small. Richard Wright, when he went in goal, the goal would look huge. Arsene Wenger said to me: ‘the goal looks so big when Richard is in it’. But Richard Wright was 6’0”.”