Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Raya ready for “beautiful challenge” at Arsenal

David Raya says his move to Arsenal is “a beautiful challenge” and that he’s ready to adapt quickly to the demands of manager Mikel Arteta. 

The Spain international moves to Emirates Stadium on a year-long loan deal after the Gunners and Brentford worked together to reach an agreement that would resolve the player’s future as quickly as possible. 

Arsenal have paid a £3 million loan fee initially and Raya, who was due to become a free agent next summer, has penned a new two-year contract at the Community Stadium which protects his value in case the Gunners want to make the deal permanent next summer. 

Interestingly, Brentford director of football Phil Giles has said he doesn’t expect Raya to return.

In his first interview with his new club, Raya said: “I spoke to the boss [Arteta] and he sent me the values of what Arsenal are about now and the group of lads that we have here, the way that the club is going, is growing even more. So it’s a beautiful challenge to take and I couldn’t say no.”

He also confirmed the Gunners’ playing style was particularly attractive to him, adding: “I’ve seen Arsenal a lot for a lot of years and since [Mikel] came he’s made a massive difference to the style of play and to the club.

“The way the team plays out of the back, being confident and taking possession to the other team is the main thing why I fit into the team. I’m going to try and help as much as possible and we’ll see what happens.”

Arsenal tried to sign David Raya two years ago but were thwarted by Brentford who were keen to retain the keeper for their first year in the Premier League. The recommendation came from goalkeeper coach Inaki Cana, who had worked with Raya for six months while also on the books of the Bees. 

Raya is excited to be reunited with his compatriot who he credits with opening his eyes to a new way of operating between the sticks.

“Inaki is very demanding but he’s a very good goalie coach,” the 27-year-old reflected.

“He’s always onto you but he only wants you to be the best. I felt so much better when I started training with him and in the space of six months, he changed my vision of a goalkeeper and the way I played back at Blackburn to how I played at Brentford. 

“He was the first one to change my mindset to see different aspects of goalkeeping.”

In the short term, Raya wants to get to know his new teammates and, in particular, his fellow keepers. 

“I can’t wait to be out there and to train with the lads and get that GK union going. Obviously, that’s a tight group and we’re always going to get along and push each other.

“I like to think in the short term. I like to take it day by day and obviously, the first thing is just settling, getting to know the players, settling with the coaching staff and with the staff around the club, that’s the most important thing. And then from there, just day by day, trying to compete at the highest level I can and when I have the chance, just to try and help the team as much as possible to win points.”

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I honestly thought we’d already finalised this…lol!
The gift that keeps on giving. I think he’s really going to push Rammers to another level because, simply put, Raya is every bit the peer of Rammers and statistically he might even be slightly ahead. Should be a really healthy competition for the #1 spot. I’d expect Raya is the cup/champs league goalie to start. He’s easily good enough for it.


Yes the ideal situation here is that Raya stays for a couple of seasons, splitting the CL and league between them.

Ramsdale has a lot to learn from Raya and I’d back him to improve his distribution and become the complete package.

Then we sell Raya to Real/Bayern/Saudi for a healthy profit while he’s still peak age for a goalie.


I will be very interesting to see what happens if Raya displaces Ramsdale as Number 1. Would Ramsdale hang about and fight for his place? Or would he put in a transfer request?

And would Raya be happy to be a long-term number 2? If Ramsdale keeps him on the bench would the Spaniard decide to move on?


Heavenly Chapecoense

Xhaka Hislop who was a GK (great shot stopper) in his career said that the concept of two No 1 keepers is a bad idea. If both consider themselves No 1, it is going to negatively affect one of them, likely both.


Is Xhaka Hislop Granit’s goalkeeping brother?

Anyway, the more the pundits, commentators and so called experts scream that this is a bad idea the more on board i am with this. Sometimes a little out of the box thinking is maybe needed, besides none of these are close enough to know the characters of the players to suggest that won’t be pushed to be better. Maybe if Shaka had someone like that wouldn’t end up being a bang average keeper playing for bang average clubs and winning f*** all in the process


I think we have to take Ramsdales comments about it at face value also. He said he welcomed the competition. bring it on I think he said. Good enough for me! It’s all in his hands. I still have reservations but I’ll trust Arteta and Inaki and Edu. I just don’t think they’d do this without careful consideration.


I think if Rammers form didn’t tail at the end of last season this move doesn’t happen, but I think the loan with the option to buy is about as perfect a scenario as could be hoped for. If Rammers levels up, he’s the #1 and we can consider Raya as a #1B (at a fair cost) or let him go and find another option (Hein is really coming along too). If Raya displaces Rammers it’s because he deserves it and is absolute quality (which he is) and we can buy a world class #1 at a massive bargain next… Read more »


Agreed, I’ve come full circle after hearing Rambo’s comments and learning it’s a loan with option to buy. They really are pulling out all the stops this window. Why on earth Brentford ever agreed to it I’ll never know, they got absolutely played!


I think he made it clear he wasn’t going to resign with Brentford. It’s not a bad deal for them as he added a year onto his deal just in case. They’ll get good money even if it’s not arsenal, but I’m pretty sure it’ll be Arsenal. He’s fucking quality from my viewings and from diving into his stats.

El Mintero

“Rammers”…lol…is that your pet name for him?

Crash Fistfight

How come the two brothers don’t share the same surname, yet one has the other’s first name for a surname? Very confusing.


First time for everything. I’d like to see how MA manages this. Wenger Tried with Jens and Almunia. Nevr quite worked but if we managed to reach finals in all cups and somehow title for the title I can see how that may make them some how content. I hope


problem with the Jens and Almunia situation was the massive difference in talent between the two and both of them knew it.

He’s got no hair but we don’t care...

If Ramsdale is displaced they’re no way he’s hanging around for 5/6 years (considering Arya’s age), he’ll leave.
That will mean another PL side getting him in his prime years just as Raya is coming out of his.
Yes the squad depth has been improved but this can’t end well.
We soups definitely have invested in a plan b striker not a keeper.


Two great goalies is better than one. Welcome to the good ship Arsenal, David.

Seems like a grounded dude just like Aaron (who I love btw). May the (respectful) battle for numero uno commence!


I think we all know Arteta well enough. I expect Raya to get a chance to establish himself as number one very quickly. Arteta isn’t afraid to replace great players with greater players and see who come out on top, and importantly, who has the stomach for it. Arteta has a lot of form of doing exactly this.

Steve B

Glad to have him. Don’t really think Rammers needs the extra competition. David Seaman never needed it.

Xhaka Hislop

Richard Wright?

Crash Fistfight

I just gave you an upvote for the name


I always fancied myself as a keeper (which was a pretty bold stance to take for someone who was always at least a foot shorter than his peers). As such I spent many happy hours as a kid recreating John Lukic saves at the park and I was gutted when we signed Seaman. But fuck me what a goalie Seaman turned out to be!

I absolutely adore Ramsdale but no one player is bigger than the team. I suspect Raya is a better keeper (for now) so I’m fully on board with this very bold (stupid?) move.


Hopefully he can play left defender in a pinch. Seriously I think it is a no brainer to be able to get such a quality keeper for a small loan fee with the option to buy if it works out. We haven’t been in the Champions League in years and need that experienced second keeper for those matches and also in case of injury. Two quality keepers pushing each other in training every day can only improve both of them.

Thierry Bergkamp (non negotiable)

Still no news on 3rd kit release date

A Different George

Still don’t understand this. Of course competition is good, but goalkeeping is different from any other position. Does Martinelli start ahead of Trossard? Depends on how they looked in training (is that relevant for a keeper?), how much they have played and need to be rotated (irrelevant for keepers; they can play every match), the way the particular opponent plays (definitely irrelevant for keepers). Martinelli and Trossard can both be kept happy, with plenty of game time in important games. But not keepers–you end up with the number two waiting either for an injury or a crap game by the… Read more »


I’m with you George. Don’t quite get it from Arsenal’s side and even more perplexing to me is from Raya’s point of view.


I think if Rammers form didn’t tail off at the end of last season this move doesn’t happen, but I think the loan with the option to buy is about as perfect a scenario as could be hoped for. If Rammers levels up, he’s the #1 and we can consider Raya as a #1B (at a fair cost) or let him go and find another option (Hein is really coming along too). If Raya displaces Rammers it’s because he deserves it and is absolute quality (which he is) and we can buy a world class #1 at a massive bargain… Read more »


I think it was the size of the step down if Ramsdale got injured, and wanting a champions league level no.2 rather than a Europa league level no.2 (no disrespect to Matt Turner, who gave everything and was decent) but now we’ve two keepers who can genuinely rotate for all 4 competitions.


Raya sounds like a hot new dating app that I’d do very poorly on. Welcome to the club!


For cuckolding fetishists?


Would you believe it IS a dating app. Must’ve heard about it and forgot. Celebrity dating app too! They better give David a discount!




Raya was the protector of some dragon if I recollect in some anime.

Teryima Adi

Welcome on board the Arsenal, Raya.

Man Manny

Raya on the bench for this season is better than Turner being there, for me. Courtois has just had ACL at Real Madrid and Kepa has been signed on loan. What if it happened after September 1, one wonders. These things happen.. Even if Ramsdale is not injured, a capable No. 2 breathing down his neck is not a bad thing.
Welcome Raya.


It is amusing to me that people think Raya will be no.2 for long. Yes, Ramsdale is a very likeable guy but this is not about feelings, it’s about having the best possible goalkeeper in goal. Ramsdale made some great saves last season but he also made costly mistakes and he was shaky towards the end of the season when everything went terribly wrong. He wasn’t on par with the best goalkeepers of the league, while Raya was. Numbers don’t lie, feelings do. There’s a reason Arteta brought Raya. He could have brought a younger promising back up for Ramsdale… Read more »


The video following Raya on his first day at Colney is giving me some serious Godfather vibes, Raya is like the new Don Corleone – Nr. 1 kind of thing, welcome to the family, he knows the coaches from before (both Cuesta and Inaki by the looks of it) – but lets see, hopefully enough games to keep em both happy for a couple of years.


Disappointed to see the mainstream view on this. All the focus on 1s and 2s like that is more important than developing new ways to play the game in 2023, as we face a completely new level of professional athleticism in football. Raya and Rams will have spoken openly and frankly with Mikel and Edu and no doubt understand that Mikel is building a squad that can play 60-odd games every season at the very highest level. That means training at the very highest level. And cup games at the very highest level. You don’t do that with 1s and… Read more »


Bit of a provocative photo but I guess he couldn’t hold up 22 fingers..


This definitely has a whiff of Guardiola and Joe Hart about it. I think Ram is better than Joe obviously, but Arteta being ruthless to bring in another GK who is potentially going to usurp a fan favourite is very Pep-esque.

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