Arsenal have completed the signing of goalkeeper David Raya on loan from Brentford.
The 27-year-old joins initially on a season-long loan with the option to make the move permanent next summer. There is an initial £3million loan fee and activating the option would be for a further £27m.
Bayern Munich had explored a similar deal with Brentford but the player only ever wanted Arsenal where he will reunite with former Brentford goalkeeping coach Inaki Cana.
The north London side’s sporting director, Edu, told Arsenal.com: “We welcome David to us on a season-long loan from Brentford.
“David is a top-quality goalkeeper, who has consistently performed to a high level with Brentford in the Premier League. With David joining us we are adding quality and depth to our squad so we can perform at the highest possible level in all competitions.”
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Raya, who will wear the No 22, joins Arsenal after four successful years at Brentford. The Spain international, who was not involved in Brentford’s 2-2 draw against Tottenham on Sunday, made 161 appearances in total for the west London side. He kept 54 clean sheets during his time at the club.
Raya’s impressive performances for Brentford also earned him his first of two senior international appearances for Spain in March 2022. He was then selected for his nation’s 2022 World Cup squad.
Arsenal want Raya to compete alongside current No 1 Aaron Ramsdale for a starting place, a battle the England international goalkeeper has welcomed.
Ramsdale told ITV Sport: “Bring it on. Nothing comes easy in football, but also at the same time, you need to move along and need to adapt as well as yourself.
“I’ve done it (replaced the No 1 goalkeeper) to other people so I am not going to be thinking that it is never going to happen to me. If it happens, it happens, and then we will fight and make each other the best version of ourselves because that is what the manager is telling us as well.
“And I am sure whoever plays, the goalkeeping union – people will laugh at that but it is a real thing. Your individual disappointment will go away and you put the team first and you put your goalkeeper first as well.”
The north London side began their Premier League campaign with a 2-1 win against Nottingham Forest. Their next fixture is against Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park on Monday evening.
Explained: Why Arsenal want David Raya and where does it leave Aaron Ramsdale?
Analysis by Arsenal correspondents Art de Roche and Jordan Campbell
Mikel Arteta is keen for competition in his squad and Ramsdale is just the latest who has his position put under pressure after Raya’s signing.
Though Matt Turner had impressed for USMNT recently in the Gold Cup, he joined Premier League rivals Nottingham Forest.
Raya’s confidence with the ball at his feet is also crucial while Ramsdale had a drop-off in form last season from his debut campaign at the club and some of his errors proved costly.
It could be that some competition is exactly what is required to challenge him to reach new heights.
David Raya to Arsenal: A £3m loan move over four years in the making
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