Ben Foster believes Arsenal could be making a mistake by bringing David Raya to the club.

David Ornstein recently reported that Arsenal are on the verge of sealing a deal to sign Brentford goalkeeper David Raya on a season-long loan, with a £27 million option to buy.

Mikel Arteta has been an admirer of Raya’s for some time, and the Spanish shot-stopper will back himself to oust Aaron Ramsdale as the Gunners’ No. 1 this season. However, Ramsdale himself will start the season as first choice, and the role is his to lose.

Arteta is clearly trying to stoke fierce competition for places in his squad, and it will be a close run battle between the goalkeepers, that will ideally bring the best out of both of them on the pitch.

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Foster, though, is concerned that this ploy will backfire on the Arsenal boss. Speaking on his YouTube channel, the former England ‘keeper said, “I think he [Ramsdale] is absolutely perfect…Ramsdale makes world-class saves that keep Arsenal in games at times. He’s a massive personality. And I just think there’s no need to rock the boat with this one.”

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Arsenal signing Raya the smart way

Foster will know as well as anyone that goalkeepers must be used to competition, but it is unusual for a top club to have two ‘keepers of such calibre on the books at any one time. Arteta is banking on the mentality and professionalism of both Ramsdale and Raya to ensure that they whichever one isn’t playing doesn’t allow his disappointment to impact the dressing room atmosphere.

The fact that it looks to be a loan deal, at least at first, for Raya, gives Arsenal a measure of insurance against that eventuality. If Raya can’t displace Ramsdale, then he can simply be returned to Brentford without the Gunners having to splash out to sign him on a permanent basis, and the Spaniard’s displeasure about playing second fiddle in north London will be short-lived.

Arteta and Edu have negotiated the structure of this deal expertly and deserve credit for that. Foster’s concerns will have been in their thinking too, but clearly they see this as the way to go given that they have an understanding of Ramsdale and Raya as players and people.

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