David Raya – Welcome to Arsenal?

By ballprogression
7 Min Read

Brentford’s David Raya has been the subject of transfer rumours all summer long, with Tottenham and Bayern proving the most likely candidates for his signature. Or so it seemed…

Arsenal came into the mix quickly and swiftly, with both camps already agreeing personal terms. The fee with Brentford is the only sticking point left for this transfer to be completed. Brentford have quoted a price of 40m pounds and have been sticking to it for now, but it seems like they are ready to soften their stance now.


Raya is a well known name in the Premier League, largely known for his supreme ball playing skills. Hes been Brentfords #1 since 2019. and has ammased a total of 161 games for the club.

Jurgen Klopp was previously noted saying: “The goalkeeper could have the shirt with No 10. He played a few incredible balls but it was the right thing to do against us today.”

As far as modern goalkeepers go, Raya is your guy. Rushing high off his line, sweeping out play and picking out passes. All of the things he does extremely well.

There’s no debate over how good he is with his feet, capable of going both short and long – forming a special weapon with the duo of Mbuemo and Toney. In case you needed reminding of just how special his distribution is, search no more. Slicers, lofted balls, left foot, right foot, dropkicks – you name it, he’s got it in his arsenal (hehe).

It’s not only passing that Raya excels in though. Raya ranks in 99th percentile for saves and in 92nd in terms of his save percentage. As far as xG prevented, Raya stand 3rd in the Premier League, in behind Alisson and Bernd Leno.

Raya is also an incredible sweeper, ranking in the 80th percentile for defensive actions outside of penalty area and in the 67th percentile for the average distance of defensive actions.

He stands at only 6ft but does well in the air, standing up there with among the best in the league in terms of stopping crosses.


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Ramsdale has defied critics ever since he put on the Arsenal shirt, with many (including myself) wondering if he is the right solution for what we need in our GK. He surprised all of us with his performances in the Arsenal shirt, especially considering he’s still very young for a GK (25).

CIES Football Observatory ranked Ramsdale as the most valuable goalkeeper in world football recently, which is another testament of the great work he’s been putting in betwen the sticks for Arsenal and England.

However, Ramsdale can have the occasional error or two and a move for Raya might make sense for Arsenal. Here’s why.

Ramsdale, as good as a goalkeeper he is might simply benefit from having real competition. Competition breeds success and Arteta surely knows that, after dedicating the summer (Havertz, Rice, Timber) and last January (Trossard, Kiwior) to bringing a higher competitive edge to the team with smart recruitments who’ll compete for their place with starters in the team.

Raya beats Ramsdale in most stats but comparing the two solely on statistical output, while both are in completely different teams and setups is unfair as a judging goalkeepers simply cannot be all about the stats. Raya clearly relishes the challenge of competing for the #1 spot and Ramsdale might simply up his standards with someone breathing down his neck, it really is as simple as that. Let the better man win. A certain hierarchy will definitely exist after a while but both can up their game working with each other.


Both can coexist in this Arsenal team but we’ll find out who the #1 goalkeeper is soon enough. Arsenal have plenty of games to play next season but one or the other will get the “big ones”, that’s for sure. Can Arteta find a system to make both happy, as in one playing in Cups + CL while the other gets the nod in the PL? Maybe, but competition will be fierce, that’s a given. Arsenal will have the best two goalkeeper setup in world football, that’s how highly I rate them.

Looking at them now, Ramsdale still gets my vote but things change quickly in football. Ramsdale strikes me as someone who does better when the world is against him, if you get what I mean. He’s shown it when he came to the club and he consistently shows it in Arsenal’s away trips.

But anyways, Arteta is not getting burned on the no depth claims again. Has he managed to build a side fully capable of challenging City for this year remains to be seen but he sure as he’ll tried it. Let the games begin!


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