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Should David Ospina be Arsenal’s regular number one?

The Colombia goalkeeper will feature against AC Milan on Thursday.

Should David Ospina be Arsenal’s regular number one?

Petr Cech became the first goalkeeper in Premier League history to keep 200 clean sheets as he kept Watford at bay on Sunday.

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But there have been question marks over the 35-year-old for much of this season, with David Ospina deputising in cup competitions and set to start when Arsenal take on AC Milan in the second leg of their Europa League last-16 clash on Thursday – live on BT Sport 2, 8:05pm kick-off.

So is it time for the Colombia international to be made the Gunners’ first-choice stopper? Here, Press Association Sport looks at the arguments.

No, Cech is still the best

Cech kept his 200th Premier League clean sheet last weekend.
Cech kept his 200th Premier League clean sheet last weekend (Jonathan Brady/PA)

Father time may be catching up with Cech but he is still one of the most highly-regarded goalkeepers in England.

The former Czech Republic international won four Premier League titles with Chelsea and has lifted the FA Cup on the same number of occasions.

Cech may not be the ultimate goalkeeper he once was but he can still make incredible saves, as proven in the north London derby defeat to Tottenham at Wembley, while his experience and winning mentality can only help Arsenal and manager Arsene Wenger as he looks to bring more silverware to the Emirates Stadium.

He can certainly keep going for the time being, especially with Wenger’s policy of rotating his goalkeeper across different competitions.

Yes, give him the gloves

Ospina has started all-but two of Arsenal's Europa League games this season, including the 2-0 win at AC Milan
Ospina has started all but two of Arsenal’s Europa League games this season (Tim Goode/EMPICS)

Wenger has never claimed Ospina is his second-choice goalkeeper and maintains he has two ‘world-class’ options between the posts.

Surely now is the time to prove his faith in Ospina by giving him the first-choice duties for the foreseeable future.

With the Europa League Arsenal’s only chance of silverware this season and their most realistic route back into the Champions League, sticking with Ospina in that competition shows Wenger rates him highly.

So Ospina should be installed as the de facto number one, giving him more confidence and maintaining the stability behind what is sometimes a shaky defensive line.

No, replace them both this summer

Both Ospina & Cech could yet be replaced if a new goalkeeper is signed ahead of next season
Ospina and Cech could yet be replaced ahead of next season (Mike Egerton/EMPICS)

With Cech reaching his mid-30s and the jury still split over Ospina’s ability to replace the former Chelsea man like-for-like, Wenger could ditch them both during the summer.

Jordan Pickford was a reported target last year before he left Sunderland for Everton in a big-money deal but there are plenty of other options who could come in as the new Arsenal number one – even the shirt number is vacant.

The likes of Jack Butland of Stoke and Bayer Leverkusen’s Bernd Leno have been linked with moves to the Emirates Stadium, while world-class stoppers such as Milan’s Gianluigi Donnarumma and Jan Oblak from Atletico Madrid would be big-name targets.

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