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Mikel Arteta finally speaks on why he picks David Raya as Arsenal first-choice goalkeeper

Mikel Arteta has spoken on the qualities of Arsenal goalkeeper David Raya that may have influenced his decision to make him first choice

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Arsenal goalkeeper David Raya
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Mikel Arteta has opened up on his decision to select David Raya as Arsenal first-choice goalkeeper over Aaron Ramsdale. 

Ramsdale was named in the Premier League Team of the Year last season following his impressive display for Arsenal but has surprisingly found himself warming the bench for the Gunners this season following the arrival of Raya.

Arteta, who had been reticent about discussing the goalkeeping situation until now, opened up about Raya’s impact. While the Spaniard initially faced skepticism, Arteta highlighted Raya’s growing confidence and substantial contributions to the team’s style of play and defensive capabilities.

Speaking ahead of the Premier League fixture at Turf Moor, Arteta provided insights into Raya’s integration and his ability to go unnoticed for the crucial moments in the game. Arteta expressed his admiration for Raya’s goalkeeping skills, and how the goalkeeper anticipates and prevents potential threats that often go unnoticed by spectators.

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Arteta stated, “What I like about David, as well, is what he does in goal. The things that he prevents us from, you don’t even see because they don’t happen, because he has anticipated them.

“But yeah, obviously he had the environment that was very challenging. But that’s what I love about him. The players with the courage and the character and personality. When even it is like this, they want to be themselves and they push themselves to do that. He has earned the right to be very respected and I’m really happy that he’s winning.

When asked about specific instances where David Raya prevented unseen occurrences, Arteta intriguingly replied, “Have a look at the game again. I’m not going to tell you.” 

Further discussing Raya’s strengths, Arteta touched upon the goalkeeper’s quick distribution of the ball. He acknowledged the importance of exploiting opportunities during the match when playing fast can maximise the team’s attacking potential.

“Yeah, there are opportunities in the match when you can play fast and the door is open, that you can maximise those situations like every team does.”

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