David Raya: “Playing for Arsenal was the pinnacle of my career”

Let’s join Xoilac to follow details of Premier League matches and football news, please visit the website

Having only spent 2 months playing for Arsenal, David Raya commented that this was a successful step in his career.

In an exclusive interview with The Athletic, the Gunners’ rookie shared: “It’s true, I took a big step forward in my club career when I moved to Arsenal. Currently, I am playing for one of the top football teams in the world. That gives you encouragement and pride, especially when playing in the Champions League.”

The North London team’s signing of the Spanish goalkeeper has sparked debate about whether Mikel Arteta can satisfy both highly skilled goalkeepers, Raya and Aaron Ramsdale.

Ramsdale is a trusted face in wins against Crystal Palace, Manchester United, or a draw against Fulham. However, after the national team break between September and October, Raya was unexpectedly selected for all four consecutive matches in the Premier League and the opening two matches of the Champions League group stage. Although both are trying to compete to prove themselves before Euro 2024, Raya is still optimistic when looking at the long-term future at Emirates Stadium.

Raya’s 1-season loan fee worth £3 million could be raised to £27 million if Arsenal activates the buyout clause from Brentford. When asked if he would “close the book” if he had the opportunity to accept the above offer, the 28-year-old guard said without hesitation: “Yes, I would complete the buyout contract yesterday if I could.” ”.

In addition to Mikel Arteta, goalkeeper coach Inaki Cana was the decisive factor in helping bring Raya to Emirates Stadium because Cana was also the one who brought the Spanish goalkeeper to Brentford from Blackburn Rovers in 2019. “I had a few conversations with Arteta before signing because everything is quite complicated, from transfer fees to other factors. I want to work with Arteta because I’m interested in the philosophy he is building, how he helps change Arsenal back to its original style of play.”

When asked about competing for the number 1 position in the wooden frame, Raya replied: “I will fight for it. Arteta gave me confidence and emphasized that he needed two quality players in each position, so I would look for opportunities to play for myself. I don’t want to think much beyond that. If there is any rotation, I will help everyone both on and off the pitch.”

With being used in every recent Arsenal match, the number 1 position seems to be the default for Raya in goal. However, the competition between him and Ramsdale is still very fair. Raya said: “Our relationship? I must say it’s very good. At the end of the day, we are friends again and that’s what matters. We have an extremely healthy relationship. We push each other in every training session: when Ramsdale slacks, I motivate him, and vice versa. The team usually practices with three or four goalkeepers for many hours during the week, and you need that kind of mentality. Otherwise, the training session will not be as expected.”

“I don’t like to look into the distant future but focus on one day at a time. However, it would be great to win the title with Arsenal and be called up to the national team to play at Euro 2024.”

Raya’s hard work is paying off. Arsenal currently has 20 points and is ranked 2nd in the Premier League rankings, only losing to Tottenham in terms of goals. Recently, the Gunners defeated defending champion Manchester City with a score of 1-0 and had their first victory over The Citizens after 8 years. The above victory came in no small part from Arteta’s tactical refinement.

Raya shared: “Manchester City is the team that deploys pressing and transitions best in the world. Therefore, we have to play more directly. In the first half, the whole team had to deploy from defense with many risky plays. In the second half, we changed our strategy, pushing the opponent higher but still under control so we could protect the defense. With direct shots, Arsenal created waves in front of Manchester City’s goal.

One of the plays that made Gooners’ hearts jump was Raya’s clearance which accidentally went straight into Julian Alvarez’s foot and almost caused the ball to go into the net. During the match, the 28-year-old goalkeeper put his foot on the ball to lure the opponent into pressing. He said: “I absorbed that from the coaching staff’s instructions. Arteta didn’t want me to clear the ball. He wanted me to wait for an opponent’s player to press and leave space for a home team player. It was time we created something different.”

“Fans are often not used to goalkeepers holding the ball for too long. If the opponent doesn’t press, you have to find the right time to pass the ball. That’s the risk we take. If one day an error occurs, I will raise my hand and be responsible.”

Looking into the future, Raya hopes to win titles with Arsenal and have a solid position in the national team. Coming to England at the age of 16, Raya still does not rule out the possibility of returning to play football in his homeland. He shared: “Do I want to play in La Liga? Of course. However, right now I feel very happy at Arsenal and we will wait and see what happens in a few years.”

Leave a Comment