Arsenal legend Ian Wright has heaped praise on goalkeeper David Raya.
David Raya made his debut for Arsenal against Everton at Goodison Park on Sunday. Whilst he wasn’t greatly tested at any point by the Toffees, he was able to keep a clean sheet and demonstrated his excellent distribution skills.
The Gunners signed Raya on loan from Brentford in the recent summer transfer window. The north London club have the option to make the switch permanent for a fee of £27 million.
It will be fascinating to see how the fight for supremacy between the sticks plays out at Arsenal over the course of this season. Arteta instigated it by signing Raya, clearly believing the battle will take the players, and his team as a whole, to new heights.
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Wright backs Arteta’s goalkeeper battle
Ian Wright was certainly impressed by what he saw from Raya on his Merseyside debut. Speaking on The Kelly & Wrighty Show, the former Arsenal striker said, “[Arteta] believed that after watching last season’s loss to Everton with set pieces, he needs a goalkeeper whose one of his main attributes alongside his distribution is his coming to collect the ball which he [Raya] did unbelievably…he has got a very calm nature, his distribution’s brilliant.”
In terms of what Arteta’s plan for the goalkeeper position may be going forward, Wright said, “I believe what’s going to happen with that is we’re going to see how it goes.” The ex-Arsenal man believes that the competition is healthy though, stating, “I’m all for it simply because of the level that you have to try and get to.”
Raya does offer certain qualities at a higher level than Ramsdale does. His long and short passing is reliably accurate. According to WhoScored’s statistics, the 28-year-old completed 93.8% of his passes, including seven out of his nine attempted long balls.
The twice-capped Spain international also looked aerially dominant, as he confidently came off his line to pluck a number of Everton crosses out of the air. Given the Gunners have conceded a number of goals from set pieces in recent times, Raya’s aptitude in this area could become a real asset to the team.