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Arsenal goalkeeper David Ospina has joined Napoli on a season-long loan. 

The Gunners announced the news via Twitter:

The 29-year-old was always expected to leave the club after the arrival of Bernd Leno earlier this summer, demoting him to the role of third-choice goalkeeper.

Instead, he’ll now have the chance to impress in Serie A and potentially earn a lucrative permanent transfer next summer. The Gunners used the same tactic with Wojciech Szczesny, who starred on loan with Roma and now plays for Juventus.

Napoli lost Pepe Reina to AC Milan this summer and invested in young starlet Alex Meret, but they also added veteran Orestis Karnezis to help ease the 21-year-old into his new role. Karnezis looked shaky at best in pre-season, however, explaining this late move for Ospina.

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Ospina has been a steady performer as Colombia’s national goalkeeper for years, but never fully convinced at the Emirates Stadium. He was mostly used in cup matches last season, including a solid run in the UEFA Europa League, while Petr Cech played the bulk of the Premier League minutes.

According to Goal’s Chris Burton, the loan includes an option worth £4 million to make the move permanent. In all likelihood, Meret’s development will determine whether or not the Partenopei use said option next summer.

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