Arsenal have a serious interest in signing Brentford goalkeeper David Raya this summer.

As reported by The Athletic, Arsenal are looking into the possibility of securing David Raya’s services. The Gunners haven’t yet made an official approach for the player, but Brentford know of the interest, and the goalkeeper would be keen on a switch to the Emirates Stadium.

Arsenal are long-term admirers of the Spanish shot-stopper. They tried to sign him before, and the Arsenal goalkeeping coach, Inaki Cana, worked with Raya in his time at Brentford.

Raya is available this summer. Thomas Frank has confirmed that a deal is there to be done. The 27-year-old only has one year left on his contract and wants to test himself at Champions League level. However, Brentford want £40 million for him, and Bayern Munich are also interested.

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The major question that remains from an Arsenal perspective, though, is what all this could mean for Aaron Ramsdale.

Brentford FC v Manchester City - Premier League
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Raya or Ramsdale?

The obvious impact of Raya’s arrival would be intense competition for the No. 1 spot. Current back up Matt Turner is a solid player, but he hasn’t been able to apply any pressure on Ramsdale’s starting berth. Raya, on the other hand, wouldn’t be coming to sit on the bench.

In terms of quality, there’s so little to choose between the two. You could perhaps say that Raya is a touch more reliable, whilst Ramsdale is slightly more likely to pull off the spectacular. In any case, Mikel Arteta would have two top class ‘keepers at his disposal. In the long term, that might not be such a good thing.

Other big clubs don’t tend to have two such ‘keepers in their squad. For instance, Alisson’s back up at Liverpool is Caoimhin Kelleher. Stefan Ortega plays second fiddle to Ederson at Manchester City. In both cases, the back up option is reliable rather than elite. The reason for this is that the alternative rarely works out.

Even if one of Ramsdale or Raya were given cup and European games and the other featured in the league, that wouldn’t be enough to satisfy them long term. Both Raya and Ramsdale have international aspirations to consider. 

Arsenal 1st Team Squad Shoot 2021-22
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A risky financial move

Raya’s arrival would give Ramsdale significant reason to up his game. Ultimately, one of the two would win out and cement themselves as first choice. This could backfire on Arsenal financially. Would the Gunners be able to recoup the £40 million spent on Raya, or the £30 million invested in Ramsdale in 2021, if one were to visibly fall down the pecking order?

Arsenal only got £8 million for Bernd Leno after he lost his place to Ramsdale. It’s hard to get a good price for a ‘keeper who has been usurped. There’s perhaps a lesson to be learned there for Arteta and Edu before they commit to this course of action. This move could end up costing Arsenal far more than £40 million.

After already spending big this summer, Arsenal would be making a big statement by putting down another £40 million for Raya. Especially, when it’s a position they arguably don’t need to strengthen in. A move would be dependent on Turner being moved on first, but even so, this would be a bold step to take.

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