Premier League • England

Arsenal told they ‘can’t win the league’ if Mikel Arteta retains faith in ‘poor upgrade’

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta

Arsenal have been told that they cannot win the Premier League if Mikel Arteta keeps faith with David Raya in goal for the rest of the season.

The Spain international has certainly divided opinion since he joined the Gunners on loan from Brentford over the summer, sparking an immediate goalkeeping controversy in north London.

Aaron Ramsdale was the clear Arsenal No.1 before Raya’s arrival and now there is talk of the former potentially moving on in January.

However, Ramsdale was watching from the bench as Raya produced two big errors in Arsenal’s thrilling 4-3 victory at Luton on Tuesday evening.

And talkSPORT pundit Jamie O’Hara is clearly not a fan of Raya, who cost the Gunners a loan fee of £3m and has been tipped to make the move a permanent one.

Speaking after the game, the former Tottenham midfielder insisted there is no way Arsenal can better their second-placed from last season if Raya stays in goal.

He said: “What I will say on this is that I don’t believe Arsenal can win the league with that goalkeeper.

“If you look at the best teams that win every year. Mostly Manchester City or Liverpool. They have the best keepers. Petr Cech, Edwin van der Sar, Peter Schmeichel, Alisson Becker and Ederson.

“For me, Arsenal can’t win the Premier League with David Raya in goal. That’s where I think they got it wrong. If you are going to upgrade from Ramsdale, then you have to upgrade properly. David Raya isn’t that guy. He will cost them.

“He got away with it tonight. Declan Rice steps up. Havertz scores as well. Big moment for them, they win 4-3. Arsenal fans will be buzzing. But when you look at it, in the grand scheme of things, David Raya is a problem for them.”

For his part, Arteta has so far refused to buckle in his belief that Raya remains the man for the Gunners going forward.

It will certainly be interesting to see what Arteta does when Arsenal return to action against an in-form Aston Villa side on Saturday.

Villa are coming off the back of a superb win over reigning Premier League champions Manchester City in which they largely dominated Pep Guardiola’s men.

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