Arsenal

RAYA STILL ADAPTING TO ARSENAL LIFE, BUT HAPPY SO FAR

David Raya admits he’s still adapting to life at Arsenal but he’s pleased with the way he’s handled the pressure of his much-debated loan move.

The Spaniard arrived late in the transfer window to provide competition to Aaron Ramsdale and has since usurped his peer as Mikel Arteta’s first-choice stopper.

In his first four and a half months, Raya has made 18 appearances, keeping 8 clean sheets and conceding 15 goals. After starting the season in goal, Ramsdale has been reduced to a bit part role, featuring in just one league match since September.

Many continue to wonder whether Raya marks an upgrade on Ramsdale with the noise created by their rivalry seeming to affect the performances of both.

While Raya is aware of such talk, he insists the pair are focused on improving the team.

“It’s a big thing when another goalie comes to a club,” he told Arsenal.com.

“Aaron had a magnificent season last year so I’m just here to help the team to win the games when the gaffer puts me in.

“My relationship with Aaron is really good. We’re teammates and try to make each other better in every single session. We don’t try to hear what the outside world is saying, just focus on the team.

“I’m enjoying every time I go out there, playing football and doing what I love, especially enjoying every single training session as well. It’s incredible to be part of this football club and hopefully we can fight for the title.”

He added: “I’ve experienced a lot of new things, especially at a club as big as Arsenal. It’s one of the best clubs in the world, so the challenge has been incredible and I’m still adapting to the club and everything here.”

Under the microscope since he arrived, Raya knows any mistakes on the pitch will be fodder for those who advocate for Ramsdale. It’s an awkward situation but he believes he’s coping with the extra scrutiny and the pressures of playing football at the highest level.

“Pressure is what you put on your shoulders,” he continued. “If you believe in yourself, you’ve got a big part to play and I don’t try to think so much about it.

“I’m just trying to enjoy the moment, every single training session and, every time I go on the pitch, to help the team. I’m just focusing on that and not focusing so much on the pressure or what’s going on outside the club.

“It’s not that you have to be mentally stronger, it’s just new challenges that I have never experienced, so just trying to adapt as quickly as possible to a title race and playing in the Champions League for the first time. I’ve dealt very well with all of that stuff so I’m really happy with how it’s going and hopefully it can go better.”

Raya did nothing to find himself in the awkward situation apart from accepting an offer that is a real step-up in his career. From midtable mediocrity at Brentford where some matches might be considered lost before a ball is kicked, to a team where you are expected to win every match irrespective of who your opponent is or the venue. As if that was not challenging enough, he has found himself in the middle of a media-generated storm.
My allegiance is with Arsenal Fc and whoever the gaffer chooses to wear the shirt gets my full support.

I agree with you…But would 27m have been better spent on strengthening say the centre forward position where it could cost us a premier League title? The jury is still out on that and it will stay that way unless we’re crowned in may….

We haven’t spent anything apart from a loan fee on Raya. And I’m not sure what your mythical 27m quid striker brings to this team. You’re not getting anyone better than Eddie for less than 50-60m.

27m plus Eddie nketiah money would land you a 70m striker and we’ve exercised the option to buy Raya…..time will tell if Gabriel Jesus and nketiah are enough…look at the list of top scorers in the PL…most of the top 5 appear more clinical than what we have….look at the stats for shots taken as well…..only a league title will justify …

The Arsenal is bigger than any player but our history says we do things right. Getting rid of our captain who couldn’t turn up on time = right.
Freezing out a keeper who had an incredible season = wrong.

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