Time and again Everton manager Roberto Martinez has said that Tim Howard is his number one choice. Even when Howard was out injured and Joel Robles stepped in to great effect between the posts, the manager insisted that the American would find his starting spot waiting for him. Now it appears Martinez might be rethinking his earlier decision.
In the capital, FA Cup winning goalie David Ospina went from being the undisputed starter to having to fight for his spot in a trio with Petr Čech and Wojciech Szczesny. Ospina did not let that distract him in the just-concluded Copa America 2015 where he turned in stellar performances. While Colombia were one of the favorites and eventually did not make it past Argentina in the quarters, Ospina was outstanding in goal, keeping out both Neymar & Co. as well as Messi & Co. in shutouts.
Since the end of the South American tournament, Ospina has gone on to say that he will speak to Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger about his future, and will be looking to fight to retain his spot. He was signed during the 2014 summer transfer window on a four-year contract.
Everton are rumoured to have bid £5million for the Colombian keeper. At that price, you would expect Martinez would want him to fight for the starting position and not just warm the bench and play in Cup fixtures like Joel did earlier this season. In the 23 games he featured in last season, he had ten clean sheets and conceded 17 goals in the remaining 13 games. At age 26, he represents good value and could have the crucial position locked down for a few years.
Ospina had been linked with Turkish club Fenehrbahce earlier, but little has come of that since. Premier League sides West Ham United and Newcastle United have also been mentioned - both are sides where he could have the starting spot right away, but he would get Europa League football at the Hammers.
BREAKING: West Ham are leading the race to sign David Ospina. Newcastle and Everton also interested. #WHUFC #NUFC #EFC— Hector Garcia (@HectGarcia__) July 7, 2015
Toffees will remember Ospina only too well from Everton's 2-0 loss at the Emirates Stadium in March when his brave performance foiled the Blues over and over again.
Should this come to fruition, then we could very well have seen the last of Tim Howard who has often hinted that he would like to return to the US. The Blues had made some enquiries earlier this transfer window about Burnley's goalkeeper Tom Heaton, but the Clarets quickly tied him up with a new three-year deal.