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One of Arsenal’s best players says he never expected to play for the club

One of the best players at Arsenal has revealed that he never expected to play for the club because of his career path

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Image credit: Getty Images

Arsenal are a team on the rise and one of the club’s best players has opened up about his unexpected journey to the club, defying all prior career expectations.

Amidst a stellar season for the Gunners, who are currently leading the charge in the Premier League, there’s a standout story emerging from their defensive line. With just three matches remaining, Arsenal’s title aspirations are fueled by their resolute defence, conceding a mere 28 goals in 35 matches, boasting the league’s stingiest backline.

Central to this defensive stronghold are William Saliba and Gabriel Magalhaes, lauded as one of Europe’s finest defensive duos, with goalkeeper David Raya providing steadfast support. Raya’s trajectory to prominence, however, has been anything but conventional.

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Hailing from Lancashire, Raya made a big decision at 16 to join Blackburn Rovers, marking the start of his remarkable journey. After impressing during a loan spell at Southport, he solidified his place in Blackburn’s first team, making 108 appearances and 32 clean sheets.

Arsenal goalkeeper David Raya

Arsenal goalkeeper David Raya (Image credit: Getty Images)

His standout performances drew the attention of Brentford, where he further honed his skills, notably contributing to their promotion push. Raya’s excellence in goalkeeping didn’t go unnoticed, leading to his eventual acquisition by Arsenal on loan. Since his arrival, he has seamlessly integrated into Mikel Arteta’s setup, displacing Aaron Ramsdale as the club’s preferred choice between the posts.

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In a recent interview, Raya reflected on his journey and expressed his disbelief at his current position, underscoring the importance of introspection amidst his meteoric rise. Despite initial uncertainties, his resilience and unwavering determination have propelled him to the forefront of English football, embodying the ethos of Arsenal’s triumphant resurgence.

“I never expected to be here right now,” the 28-year-old said. “When I’m at home I take a moment to analyze my journey. To think about everything I’ve achieved and everything I want to achieve.” 

Arsenal have kept 18 clean sheets in 38 appearances in all competitions, Raya is leading the race for the Golden Glove award this season with 14 clean sheets ahead of Everton goalkeeper Jordan Pickford who has 12. With three matches to the end of the season, the Spaniard looks set to win the award and make his move from Brentford permanent.

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