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Why Arsenal must move for ‘La Liga’s best’ over Mexico freebie

| 30.06.2014

It’s not the best time to be Arsenal number one Wojciech Szczesny, with the Gunners repeatedly linked to the two goalkeepers who have been making the news at World Cup 2014.

Szczesny must rue not trying harder during Poland’s ultimately unsuccessful qualifying campaign for Brazil, as the 24-year-old has been without a platform to make summer headlines from, while two of Central America’s most exciting stoppers edge ever closer to Champions League moves.

Arsene Wenger’s side have been constantly linked with both Guillermo Ochoa and Keylor Navas, and while the former could be snapped up on a free transfer after his stunning displays for Mexico, Arsenal should claw together the cash needed to prise the latter from Spanish side Levante.

Ochoa became something of an overnight sensation after denying Brazil five times in El Tri’s 0-0 Group A draw with the hosts, but his record at club level is far from remarkable.

French outfit Ajaccio – where the 28-year-old plied his trade from 2011 until May, when his contract expired – finally dropped out of Ligue 1 last term when finishing bottom, having hovered just above the relegation zone since promotion three seasons ago.

No goalkeeper in France’s top flight came close to conceding as many goals as Ochoa last term, and while the relative size of the Corsican club in relation to the likes of PSG, Marseille and Lyon could be used as part-mitigation for this stat, the same may also be said of Navas’ Spanish employers.

Levante came fiendishly close to going above city big-brothers Valencia as the 2013/14 La Liga term drew to a close and ended up just a point behind Los Che, while only the top four teams shipped fewer goals over the course of the campaign.

The 28-year-old’s 15 clean-sheets were enough for popular website Goal.com to name him in their La Liga team of the season, a bold move considering the form of Thibaut Courtois on loan from Chelsea at Atletico Madrid.

Navas has vindicated that pick with 14 World Cup saves so far for the concession of just two goals, which has been good enough to see him take 7/2 joint-favouritism for the Golden Gloves award alongside Brazil’s Julio Cesar and Germany’s Manuel Neuer.

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Alex Fortune