Arsenal

Arsenal transfer decision vindicated as Rio Ferdinand and Peter Crouch proven wrong

Arsenal have the option to sign David Raya on a permanent basis this summer after signing him on an initial season-long loan

Mikel Arteta has proven Rio Ferdinand and Peter Crouch wrong. The TNT Sports pundits previously questioned the Spaniard’s decision to house ‘two number one goalkeepers’ – yet one of which has just won the Premier League Golden Glove award.

Arsenal signed David Raya from Brentford on an initial season-long loan, which includes the option to make the move permanent. football.london understands that the Gunners paid £3million to bring the 28-year-old to the Emirates Stadium on a temporary basis while reserving the right to secure his signature for a further £27m.

After Aaron Ramsdale managed just one clean sheet in the north Londoners’ opening four games of the Premier League campaign, Raya was thrown into the starting lineup. Despite some shaky moments, he helped Arsenal defeat Everton at Goodison Park.

Arteta’s decision to bin the England international certainly ruffled a few feathers in the fanbase, with Ferdinand and Crouch fanning the flames. Speaking on TNT Sports, the former Manchester United defender cast doubt over the Gunners boss’ decision to play Raya.

I think no matter what Ramsdale does today, he’s the number two at Arsenal, regardless of what the manager says publicly,” Ferdinand said.

“He’s proved himself at this level, and I didn’t think his position would be under threat at all, but the manager obviously thinks Raya can bring something different to this team

He’s the number one guy and the number one goalkeeper. But I don’t think the manager has said who’s his number one or number two goalkeeper, and that leaves everyone in limbo.”

Singing from a similar hymn sheet, Crouch said: “He [Arteta] has caused himself a headache with this situation, and the more he says he’s got two number one goalkeepers, the questions are going to keep coming.

“It’s obvious that Raya has come in as number one choice, but the reason we’re still talking about it is that he hasn’t grabbed that opportunity by the scruff of the neck and said: ‘I am the number one.’

There are still question marks about whether he’s the number one in a lot of people’s eyes and there are still opinions about it. I don’t think it’s ideal.”

Despite pressure from supporters and pundits alike, Arteta persisted with Raya between the sticks – and his decision has finally been vindicated. After Jordan Pickford failed to keep a clean sheet during Everton’s clash against Luton Town on Friday night, the on loan Brentford ace has won the golden glove.

Raya has kept 14 clean sheets in 29 Premier League appearances for the Gunners this term – a tally which has now become unassailable, with the Toffees shot-stopper on 12 and only two games remaining. The Spaniard’s impressive performances have, not only extinguished rash claims from pundits but also, helped Arsenal mount another title bid.

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