Premier League • England

David Raya suggests surprise next step after Arsenal spell as controversial keeper signing says ‘of course’ to one destination

David Raya warming up with Arsenal

David Raya warming up with Arsenal

Despite an expectation that Arsenal will sign David Raya permanently from Brentford once his loan spell ends, the goalkeeper has now opened the door to a move to La Liga.

Raya joined Arsenal from Brentford in the summer to provide competition with Aaron Ramsdale for the no.1 role. Several former goalkeepers now working as pundits have questioned the logic behind Mikel Arteta’s decision to potentially unsettle Ramsdale.

In a recent interview, Raya has insisted his relationship with his new teammate is good. The Spaniard has started the last four Premier League matches ahead of Arsenal’s previous no.1, as well as both Champions League games so far.

It may imply that Raya was given more promises about regular action than Arteta has let on, and that it would make sense for him to stay at Arsenal beyond when his loan spell expires.

That remains the expectation – since the loan formula was a workaround against Financial Fair Play restrictions – but Raya has also admitted his interest in playing in La Liga.

As quoted by The Sun, he said: “I don’t like to look to the future, but the perfect end would be to win a title with Arsenal and to be called up to the national team for the Euros.

“Would I like to play in La Liga in the future? Yes, of course… but at the moment I am at Arsenal. I am very happy and we will see what happens in the next few years.”

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Although Raya was born in Barcelona, he has spent his entire professional career in England. He developed in the Blackburn Rovers academy before making his debut for them and spending time on loan at Southport in the 2014-15 season.

Brentford bought him in 2019 and he helped them win promotion to the Premier League within two seasons. By 2022, he earned his first two caps for the Spanish national team.

Raya is a fan of Real Madrid, who were in the market for a new keeper this summer (they signed Kepa Arrizabalaga on loan from Chelsea after an injury to Thibaut Courtois), but it remains to be seen which – if any – La Liga clubs would be interested in taking him back to his homeland.

Raya continues quest to dislodge Ramsdale for good

For the time being, he must focus on his commitments with Arsenal. There will be one year remaining on his contract with Brentford once he reaches the end of his stint at the Emirates Stadium, although as stated, he is expected to be bought outright by the Gunners.

Meanwhile, Ramsdale renewed his own deal with Arsenal earlier this year and is now scheduled to stay at Arteta’s disposal until 2026 or 2027, depending on a contract option.

Ramsdale joined Arsenal from Sheffield United in 2021 and dislodged Bernd Leno from the starting spot.

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