While Mikel Arteta didn’t want to talk about the player specifically in Arsenal’s pre match press conference yesterday, Thomas Frank had nothing to lose, confirming it’s a case of when and not if David Raya becomes a Gunner.
Arsenal have missed the deadline to register the Spaniard in time to be in our squad for this Saturday, but his manager feels ‘I expect the deal will be completed with Arsenal. He’s not here, he won’t be involved on Sunday.’
Personally, I’m relieved most sources are claiming our deal with Brentford will be a loan.
I’m comforted we then have an option to buy and not an obligation.
That seems to make more sense than investing 25-30 million to fix something that is not broken.
It’s zero reflection on Raya’s ability to be in goal for us, but based on comments I have read, many Gooners are fond of Ramsdale, like his personality, and don’t feel his body of work warrants being dropped.
While our manager’s intentions might be to create competition to get the best out his keepers, long term it seldom works.
As Peter Schmeichel has stressed this week, this is a specified role where who fills it needs to feel secure, have consistency and grows an understanding with the defence in front of him.
Even if you intend to rotate in the short term, eventually Arteta would have to pick between two goalies who are both too good to be on our bench.
So, you upset somebody.
Either you’re investing a large sum for a substitute (money that could be used on a striker), or you drop a player who doesn’t warrant it and would then move elsewhere and prove his ex-employers wrong.
A permanent transfer for Raya creates a headache when there doesn’t need to be one, and by agreeing to an initial loan, I think our manager has avoided over complicating matters.
While our fanbase can debate reasons why Ozil and Auba were paid to sit at home before having their contracts ripped up, it’s harder to defend why Ramsdale would be demoted.
Yes, he made a couple of mistakes in the title run in, but he also produced stunning saves at Anfield and Saint James Park.
They say most GK don’t hit their peak till they are past the age of 30.
So, it’s seemed harsh to buy a keeper in his early twenties, knowing he’s still learning, then judge him when he makes mistakes that are inevitable for a 25-year-old.
Based on his time in North London in its entirety, he’s been a success and to bench him could come back and bite his boss.
That’s why a loan suits all parties.
Arteta gets the competition he craves with Ramsdale fully aware he’s one error away from the baton being passed on to his equal.
It puts pressure on Raya to ensure he plays well enough to make the Emirates his permanent home.
Yet it shows Ramsdale the respect he deserves, letting him know if he maintains a certain level there might be no need to spend so much on a job he’s more than capable of.
Plus, if we don’t need to spend 30 million on a keeper then that’s money we can use elsewhere.
If we have another run-in where Ramsdale is passing the ball to the opposition or conceding goals at his near post, then we have a first-choice option to buy a decent replacement for a reasonable quote.
My gut feeling was I didn’t want us to purchase Raya. Not a reflection on his ability but I see zero reason to impact Ramsdale’s development. I see zero reason to unsettle him. So, the idea of a loan comforts me.
If an Eddie Nketiah and Reiss Nelson can be rewarded with pay rises of 100,000 pound a week for minimal contribution, then Ramsdale deserves more faith.
In Ramsdale we trust!