Manchester United legend Peter Schmeichel does not understand why Arsenal are set to sign David Raya from Brentford and fears the imminent transfer will raise problems.

The Gunners are closing in on a deal to make the Spain international Mikel Arteta’s new No2 goalkeeper. Raya will sign for Arsenal and fight Aaron Ramsdale over the starting position at Emirates Stadium. But Schmeichel questions why Arteta wants two true No1 picks available.

Ramsdale has been the undisputed first-choice between the sticks in north London since his transfer from Sheffield United. It only took the England stopper two Premier League fixtures to oust Bernd Leno for the role. While Raya has excelled in the top-flight as Brentford’s No1.

Brentford FC v Fulham FC - Pre-Season Friendly
Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images

Why Pele Is Overrated.

Arsenal and Brentford agree on a deal for David Raya’s transfer

Arsenal have agreed on a deal with Brentford to sign Raya in an initial loan transfer. Per The Athletic, the Gunners will pay the Bees £3m to hire the 27-year-old for the 2023/24 season. The Emirates Stadium side will also hold an option, not an obligation, to buy him for £27m.

To secure the transfer, Raya will also extend his contract with Brentford until June 2025. The two-cap native of Barcelona is now in the final year of his current terms. But a new deal will ensure the Bees can retain the 6ft star’s market value should Arsenal not elect to buy Raya.

Arsenal FC v Brentford FC - Premier League
Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images

What has Peter Schmeichel said about Mikel Arteta signing David Raya?

Yet while Arsenal are now on the verge of sealing Raya’s transfer, Schmeichel cannot fathom why Arteta wants to sign the goalkeeper from Brentford to rival Ramsdale. He believes they already have the best English goalkeeper and Arteta only risks making problems for himself.

“Ramsdale was fantastic for Arsenal last season,” Schmeichel said on BBC Radio 5 Live. “He’s brilliant with his feet and he’s brilliant with the core business of goalkeeping. I was very surprised when Arsenal paid that amount of money for him because I didn’t see him as that.

“But he has surprised me and, for me, he is the best English goalkeeper. He has been fantastic and I don’t understand why Arteta would create this potential problem because it could be a problem. The goalkeeper’s position is very reactive.

“You cannot create anything on your own, you have to wait for things to happen. You’re now asking your goalkeeper to prove he’s better than the other one, that means you now have to go out and do stuff and you don’t want that.”

Why has Mikel Arteta targeted the transfer of another No1 goalkeeper?

Manchester City v Arsenal - The FA Community Shield
Photo by Michael Regan – The FA/The FA via Getty Images

Raya kept 12 clean sheets to the 46 goals he conceded over Brentford’s 38 Premier League games last season. While Ramsdale registered 14 clean sheets and conceded 43 goals over Arsenal’s 38 fixtures. Both shot-stoppers played all 3,420 minutes available across 2022/23.

Arteta has targeted Raya’s transfer from Brentford to ensure Arsenal have a capable goalie if Ramsdale ever needs replacing, though. He clearly did not trust Matt Turner to step in over a sustained spell and not affect how the Gunners play. So, Turner joined Nottingham Forest.

Related Topics