The Necessity of Mathew Ryan’s Arrival
It goes without saying that Bernd Leno is the undisputed number one at Arsenal. His place in the team is not under any threat.
Regular point-saving stops have rescued Arsenal when they’ve needed it most, so he will continue in his role. He does, however, need cover. Well, more specifically, good cover.
Runarsson is way out of his depth and the fear lingering over Arsenal if Leno were to miss a string of games haunts the club and its fans. Imperative that someone came in this window to not only cover but also challenge Leno and shift him out of his comfort zone, Ryan fits the bill. Even if he will keep his place in the Premier League, competition is healthy.
Moreover, in terms of options there were precious few who could fit this mould without breaking the bank. Arsenal will want to pursue the likes of David Raya and Freddie Woodman as long-term options and eventual successors to Leno, but they don’t boast the financial clout at this moment in time while both would prove difficult operations to pull off.
Raya would command a hefty fee and is integral to Brentford as they push for promotion from the Championship, while Woodman is currently embarking on a second successive season-long loan at Swansea who are chasing the same cause.
In signing Ryan, Arsenal solve their short-term needs without impacting their long-term ambitions. Given the options, it was about as good as they could get. Almost entirely risk free.