Ben Foster has now called Arsenal’s decision to agree the transfer of David Raya from Brentford ‘pathetic’ and criticises coach Mikel Arteta for challenging Aaron Ramsdale.
The Gunners paid the Bees £3m to secure an initial loan deal for Raya earlier this month. He now has the 2023/24 season to impress Arteta enough to merit a permanent move. Arsenal also secured a £27m option to buy the 27-year-old next summer in the terms of his transfer.
But Foster has hit out at Arteta for bringing in another proven No1 to fight Ramsdale for his position. He is adamant that the Gunners manager has mishandled the situation as there is never a need to have two first-choice goalkeepers. Yet that is what Arteta now has available.
Why did Arsenal secure David Raya’s transfer from Brentford?
Arsenal targeted Raya’s transfer from Brentford mainly to keep Ramsdale honest. Arteta did not feel Matt Turner challenged the 25-year-old enough to maintain his form last season. So, the Spaniard sought out another shot-stopper who better fits how the Gunners want to play.
Raya’s ability with the ball at his feet is much stronger than Turner displayed over his time at Emirates Stadium. Arteta can now rely on that should he ever need to replace Ramsdale and not have to adapt his tactics. Playing the ball out from the back is essential for their system.
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Ramsdale and Raya are also well-matched as shot-stoppers to support Arsenal’s grounds for his transfer. The three-cap England star kept 14 clean sheets and conceded 43 goals in 38 Premier League games last term. While the two-cap Spaniard had 12 shut-outs in 38 games.
The PFA has even now named Ramsdale in its Team of the Year, such was the brilliance that Arteta gained from him last season. He is one of four Arsenal players to make the side with Bukayo Saka, Martin Odegaard and William Saliba after challenging for the top-flight title.
Mikel Arteta infuriated Ben Foster by challenging Aaron Ramsdale
Brentford conceded 46 goals with Raya between their sticks – including him letting in four to Arsenal. But Foster also recently claimed that Ramsdale is ‘absolutely perfect’ for Arsenal as he makes numerous ‘world-class’ saves. So, Arteta then signing Raya only infuriated Foster.
“That’s not the way to do things,” Foster said on his YouTube channel. “I hate it, it’s pathetic. It’s something that didn’t need to happen, right. They did not need to sign David Raya.”
Foster added: “[Ramsdale has] been a top goalie for two years. He’s on the edge of being England’s No1 with Jordan Pickford – he’s right there. When he’s full of confidence and he’s got a manager putting his arm around him, he’s as good as anyone in this country.”