Arsenal

Arsenal icon David Seaman admits he’s ‘still 50-50’ on if £27m star should start

Arsenal icon David Seaman has admitted that he is ‘still 50-50’ about if David Raya or Aaron Ramsdale should be coach Mikel Arteta’s No1 goalkeeper at Emirates Stadium.

The Gunners have faced an endless debate about their shot-stopper choices so far this term after Arteta signed Raya. He joined Arsenal on an initial season-long loan from Brentford this August to rival Ramsdale. But Arteta has shown blind faith in Raya since his first appearance.

Raya has started 14 of Arsenal’s last 15 Premier League games since coming in for Ramsdale after the September international break. Arteta only recalled their 2022/23 PFA Team of the Year member at Brentford in November with Raya ineligible to play against his parent squad.

Mikel Arteta has put his blind faith in David Raya as Arsenal’s No1 goalkeeper
Arteta has shown that Raya is Arsenal’s absolute No1 over Ramsdale with six-straight league starts since beating Brentford 1-0, despite his often worrying performances. The Gunners particularly needed a 97th-minute winner from Declan Rice to beat Luton Town due to Raya.

Elijah Adebayo (49’) and Ross Barkley (57’) gave the Hatters a shock 3-2 lead over Arsenal after punishing Raya’s mistakes. The 28-year-old failed to command his box as Adebayo met Alfie Doughty’s corner. Barkley then aimed his shot at Raya, who failed to make a basic save.

Raya refusing to use his feet to save a direct strike meant he effectively jumped over the ball as Barkley’s effort rolled underneath the Spaniard. Jamie Carragher even then questioned if Arsenal can win the Premier League with Raya after his performance in a loss to Aston Villa

David Seaman still questions if David Raya should start over Aaron Ramsdale
Arsenal fell to a 1-0 defeat in Birmingham after Raya failed to deal with John McGinn’s strike aimed straight at him. The three-cap goalkeeper also showed worrying signs in the Gunners’ 1-0 win over Manchester City in October when Raya seemed petrified whilst he had the ball.

Yet despite Raya regularly instilling zero confidence between the sticks, Arteta has shown his blind faith is in his compatriot. And Seaman still wonders if the Barcelona native should start over Ramsdale. But the Arsenal legend has seen some improvements in Raya’s game of late.

“Raya has come in and I think now we’re seeing, you know, why he’s in there because with his feet he’s brilliant,” Seaman told talkSPORT after Arsenal lost 2-0 to West Ham United on Thursday. “Even last night, some of the touches that he made were brilliant.

“It’s still 50-50 for me, and I’m happy that we’ve got two really good, quality goalkeepers at the club. But the main factor that you’ve got to do is make sure that whoever’s not in is happy.”

Along with starting 14 of Arsenal’s last 15 Premier League fixtures, Raya opened five of their six Champions League group stage ties. He has kept eight clean sheets to 17 goals allowed in those 19 games, too. So, Fabrizio Romano claims Arsenal will use the £27m option to buy.

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