Arsenal goalkeeper swap: Raya arrives from Brentford

Arsenal goalkeeper swap: Raya arrives from Brentford

After many weeks of speculation, David Raya’s future has finally been clarified since Tuesday afternoon: The 27-year-old Spaniard, the undisputed number one at ninth-placed FC Brentford last season, will initially move to Arsenal FC on loan. After a year, the runner-up then has a purchase option of around 31 million euros, which can obviously also become a purchase obligation under certain conditions. Brentford previously extended Raya’s contract by two years – with an option for a further year – with no real hope of a return.

“David is a first-class goalkeeper who has performed consistently well with Brentford in the Premier League,” said sporting director Edu. “With David, we are strengthening our squad with quality and depth so that we can play at the highest level in all competitions.” Raya will wear the shirt number 22 at Arsenal.

Brentford had long expected the departure. Because Raya had turned down several offers to extend his contract, which expired in 2024, the Bees had brought Mark Flekken from SC Freiburg for a fixed 13 million euros at the end of May with the clear intention of making the Dutchman the new regular keeper. At the start against Tottenham (2:2) Flekken knew how to convince.

After Raya was initially linked with other clubs – in addition to Tottenham Hotspur also Bayern Munich – Arsenal found their way into poker with success. With the Gunners, the two-time Spain international is said to be increasing the pressure on seeded Aaron Ramsdale.

Matt Turner, the previous number two, vacated his place after just seven competitive games (five times in the Europa League, twice in the FA Cup). The 29-year-old American, who moved to London from the New England Revolution just a year ago, made a permanent move to Nottingham Forest. Turner made his Premier League debut on Saturday against Arsenal at the Emirates (1-2).

Ramsdale knows: “It can be over very quickly” with the regular place

Raya, who had left his Spanish homeland for England as a teenager, switched from Blackburn Rovers to Brentford in 2019 for around three million euros and had recently developed into one of the best goalkeepers in the Premier League. So the pressure on Ramsdale, which Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has been putting on for the past two years, is mounting.

“To play as many games as possible”, the English national goalkeeper (three international matches) recently stated as a personal goal for the season in a kicker interview. “It’s easy to take the position of first-choice goalkeeper for granted, but that can be over very quickly.”

Ramsdale was able to excel in the first competitive game of the season: Arsenal won the Community Shield against Manchester City on penalties (4-1) thanks to his save against Rodrigo. Against Nottingham at the start of the league, however, he did not always seem safe.


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