Mat Ryan says he’s hopeful that he can return to Arsenal next season but admits his representatives will be assessing a number of options this summer.
The Australian keeper appears to have burnt his bridges with Brighton after criticising manager Graham Potter for the way he was unceremoniously dropped last season and despite being under contract for another year at the AMEX he’s not expecting to play for the Seagulls again.
The Gunners are thought to have been impressed with the way Ryan acquitted himself during his five months at the club and it was something of a surprise that a loan extension or permanent deal wasn’t announced before the end of the campaign.
According to The Athletic, our desire to fill our homegrown player quote may have counted against the 29-year-old.
“I’ve got full faith in the team around me – my agent, family, friends – that we’re going to get a couple of options hopefully and go about making what’s going to be the best decision for me,” he told Fox Sports.
“Hopefully, Arsenal becomes one of those options as well that we can look at and see what can happen there, but at the minute it’s still quite early. The season’s just finished.
“I’m taking it day by day and seeing where my journey takes me.”
Given Ryan’s age and experience – he’s played 275 games in Spain, England and Belgium – there are bound to be plenty of suitors. Three of those games came in Gunners colours and he’s pleased with the way his six-month experience in north London played out.
“I’ve learnt so much in my experiences so far, all that’s being with a club like that, the resources, the personnel, the quality on the pitch, the enormity of the club on a global aspect … it was so cool to be a part of.
“I was very fortunate but at the same time I worked hard to get a couple of opportunities. I set a couple of little goals when I signed with the club, ticking them off one by one.
“I wanted to play games. It started with an unfortunate loss, had a draw after and then finally got a win.
“It was a great experience and I was really proud of how I did and really content with how I did, and I showed that I have the capability to play at a level like that.
“I look forward to seeing what that little period now means for me moving forward. At this level you’re always as good as your next games, not necessarily your last games.”