Arsenal back-up goalkeeper Mat Ryan has dispelled critics’ claims that he moved to north London from Brighton to put his feet up.
The Australia international made the surprise move to the Emirates Stadium on loan in the January transfer window. He had started the campaign as normal – as the Seagulls’ first-choice stopper – but his situation reversed. Indeed, after Ryan lost his place in December, Robert Sanchez stepped in and has not looked back.
As such, Ryan considered his future and agreed to move away from the south coast to try to revitalise his career.
He faced the immediate task of challenging with Arsenal No. 1 Bernd Leno. Therefore, he has attracted criticism from some quarters for the motivation behind his move.
However, Ryan insists that the sacrifices he made by making the move prove he is not in it to “take the foot off the pedal”.
“Obviously there was a bit of disappointment around how things ended up there at Brighton,” the 29-year-old told Optus Sport.
“Then this move came about and I could understand why people could have drawn the conclusion that ‘yeah, he’s coming here as a No2 and wants to take the foot off the pedal, enjoy training and not push so hard’.
“Anyone that really knows me knows that’s not my style at all. My motivation is to get out on the pitch and perform.
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“That’s the reason I sacrificed every other aspect of my life, moving away from family and friends to be across here and to be out there on the pitch and represent the club that I’m playing for.”
Ryan added that he has firm beliefs over his own ability.
Two world-class Arsenal goalkeepers
“Obviously I knew that Arsenal have a great goalkeeper in Bernd, what he’s done in his career is testament to the world class goalkeeper he is,” Ryan said.
“But at the same time, I have self-belief that I’m also a world-class goalkeeper.”
The Australian has made three appearances for the Gunners, all of which have come in the Premier League.