Brentford goalkeeper David Raya has joined Arsenal on a season-long loan for a fee of £3 million.
It had been widely reported that the Gunners would sign the Spain international on a permanent deal worth up to £30 million but as negotiations got underway all parties decided a loan was feasible, so long as Raya signed a year-long contract extension at the Community Stadium.
The 27-year-old was due to be a free agent next summer, however, that has now been pushed back to 2025. Arsenal retain an option to buy the player at the end of the campaign and the expectation is that they will do so if this year is deemed a success.
Raya arrives to provide competition to Aaron Ramsdale following Matt Turner’s move to Nottingham Forest and will count as a homegrown player having moved to Blackburn Rovers as a teenager.
Since arriving in England, he’s patiently worked his way up the football pyramid to become one of the most sought-after keepers in Europe.
Raya arrives 🧤 pic.twitter.com/2UaPiDDp33
— Arsenal (@Arsenal) August 15, 2023
His first real taste of senior football came on loan to National League side Southport in 2014/15 and he then spent a couple of years waiting in the wings at Ewood Park before helping Rovers to promotion to the Championship in 2017/18. Two years later he moved to Brentford where he’s been a regular for four years.
According to Opta data, Raya faced the most shots, made the most saves, claimed the second-most crosses, made more touches and completed the most passes out of all the other Premier League keepers last season.
Raya’s ability to play from the back is thought to be the quality that most attracted Mikel Arteta. It’s unclear whether any promises have been made on the game time front but with Arsenal facing a hectic schedule fighting for silverware across four competitions, minutes are bound to come his way.
Raya has been handed the number 22 squad number and will be available for next Monday’s match at Crystal Palace having already begun training with his new teammates.