David Raya signed for Arsenal to rival Aaron Ramsdale to be Mikel Arteta’s first-choice but their unseen moments away at Crystal Palace proved the goalkeeper union is real.

The Gunners beat the Eagles 1-0 at Selhurst Park on Monday with Ramsdale keeping a clean sheet. It was also the 25-year-old’s first shutout of the 2023/24 Premier League season after Arsenal beat Nottingham Forest 2-1. He kept 14 clean sheets in 38 games during 2022/23.

Ramsdale further started his Arsenal career with 12 clean sheets over 34 outings in 2021/22 after signing from Sheffield United. Yet Arteta moved to sign Raya from Brentford to improve his depth between the posts. The 27-year-old replaced Matt Turner as Ramsdale’s top rival.

Arsenal goalkeepers Aaron Ramsdale and David Raya warm up at Crystal Palace
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Why Pele Is Overrated.

Ramsdale welcomes Raya’s challenge to be Arsenal’s No1 goalkeeper

Raya has all the credentials of a starting Premier League goalkeeper to now give Ramsdale a run for his place. The Spaniard kept eight clean sheets in 24 games during his debut English top-flight season in 2021/22. He then recorded 12 shutouts in 38 games during last season.

But the two-cap Barcelona native will further rival England international Ramsdale thanks to his ability with the ball. While Turner was never a real threat for the starting role at Emirates Stadium as he lacked when in possession, Raya can move the ball to match Arteta’s tactics.

Arsenal goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale makes a save against Crystal Palace striker Odsonne Edouard
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A fight with Raya to remain Arsenal’s No1 goalkeeper is not one that Ramsdale will just walk away from. He told ITV Football ‘bring it on’ when asked about the possible battle. The 6 ft 2 shot-stopper also believes ‘we’ll make each other the best versions of ourselves’ for Arsenal.

Raya and Ramsdale’s unseen moments away at Crystal Palace

Having two proven No1 goalkeepers could create a problem for Arteta if their fight does not play out kindly. But the goalkeeper union is clearly real at Arsenal after the unseen moments between Ramsdale and Raya at Crystal Palace. They have evidently established a bond fast.

Raya told Arsenal’s club website after leaving Brentford: “I can’t wait to be out there training with the lads and getting that GK union going.” Clearly, his comments were true as Raya and Ramsdale were chatting away cheerfully as Arsenal warmed up at Crystal Palace on Monday.

Arsenal goalkeepers Aaron Ramsdale and David Raya embrace after beating Crystal Palace
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The pair even complimented each other for the accuracy of their passing in drills under the careful gaze of Raya’s former Brentford goalkeeping coach, Inaki Cana. While Raya was even back on the Selhurst Park pitch after Arsenal beat Crystal Palace 1-0 to embrace Ramsdale.

Clearly, the goalkeeper union is real at Arsenal with Raya and Ramsdale establishing a quick bond. Arteta will now hope it stays that way and Ramsdale’s expectations of the pair making each other better prove true. The early signs are promising, at least, as Raya gets settled in.

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