Mikel Arteta left David Raya’s grandad fighting back tears at the Arsenal boss’ heart-warming gesture at the goalkeeper’s signing after securing a transfer from Brentford.
The Gunners announced Raya as their latest summer recruit on Tuesday after agreeing to an initial loan transfer. Arsenal have paid Brentford £3m to hire the 27-year-old for the 2023/24 campaign. They also agreed to include a £27m option to buy the Spain star for next summer.
Sporting director Edu moved to secure Raya’s signing to hand Arteta a superior backup after selling Matt Turner. Yet not only will the Barcelona native take the American’s place in north London. Raya will also rival Arsenal’s number one Aaron Ramsdale to be Arteta’s first-choice.
Arsenal sign Raya on loan from Brentford to rival Ramsdale
Raya is far more capable of challenging Ramsdale than Turner proved before sealing a move to Nottingham Forest. The Spaniard emerged as one of the Premier League’s best goalies for Brentford after helping the Bees gain promotion. He is also far more comfortable on the ball.
Now with Raya at Arsenal, Arteta will not need to completely adapt their tactics if Ramsdale suffers a long-term injury. Turner had given the Gunners a capable understudy with his shot-stopping abilities. But the 29-year-old was seldom as comfortable playing out from the back.
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Raya’s grandad fights back tears at Arteta’s heart-warming gesture
Arteta also showed that he is a real class act as Raya finalised his transfer from Brentford. He took the opportunity at the goalkeeper’s signing at London Colney to present the Spaniard’s grandad with his own Arsenal shirt. The jersey even had the 91-year-old’s name on the back.
Arsenal’s in-house media shared a clip of Arteta presenting Raya’s grandad, Joaquin, with a 2023/24 Gunners home shirt. In the video, Joaquin also says ‘this is my biggest dream’ after seeing Raya join the Emirates Stadium club. Arteta, Edu and Joaquin then pose for a photo.
The emotions were really strong for Raya’s grandad as Joaquin fought back tears at Arteta’s heart-warming gesture. While Arsenal fittingly captioned the clip with ‘The Arsenal Family’.