Arsenal are creating a problem for themselves with the addition of David Raya to compete with Aaron Ramsdale, it has been claimed – unless Mikel Arteta is actually planning on making the Brentford star his first choice.
Raya is due to join Arsenal from Brentford on loan with an option to buy. The plan is for him to compete with Ramsdale for the starting berth in goal after Matt Turner left for Nottingham Forest.
With no outright No.1 in place, Arsenal have been questioned for creating instability with the addition of Raya. And former Republic of Ireland goalkeeper Shay Given has added his concerns.
Speaking on Match of the Day 2, Given said: “I would look at that and say you’re signing a problem, if you’re asking me, because Ramsdale for me was one of the best players at Arsenal last year, had some big performances and really settled into the position.
“Now if you’re bringing in Raya, who’s a No.1 in his own right, then you’re causing yourself a problem.
“I don’t think Raya would leave Brentford, who’s the No.1 at Brentford of course, to be No.2 at Arsenal or any club. If I was in his position, I wouldn’t go to any club as a No.2. No chance.
“So I don’t understand why Arteta wants to bring him in. I mean, the goalie coach used to be at Brentford, so he’s bringing Raya in for a reason, he likes him. So maybe he’s given him some assurances that he’s going to be No.1.
“But I wouldn’t be happy if I was Ramsdale.”
No.1 needs to know their status
The ex-Newcastle man added: “I understand the psychology if you say like a right-back or a midfielder, you want two in every single position, fighting for that position. But the goalkeeper’s a bit different.
“Psychologically, if you make a mistake – which we all do, we’re human beings – you think, ‘oh I’ve made a mistake, Raya’s going to play next week’, or Ramsdale’s going to play, so you’re playing on a bit of an edge the whole time.
“You don’t want that as a goalkeeper. You want to play. You want the backing of your manager – ‘you’re my No. 1, I want you to go out there and even if you make a mistake I’ll back you’.
“A couple of mistakes from Ramsdale last year, playing into midfield, he got caught out, he conceded a goal. Now does he look over his shoulder and go, ‘oh, Raya’s going to come in now because I made a mistake’.
“No, he needs to know he’s a No.1 and I don’t think it’s a good sort of chemical to have both of them pushing for that position.”