Arsenal will soon announce the signing of Brentford goalkeeper David Raya, with the Spaniard now expected to join the club on an initial loan deal this summer.
The Gunners made a surprise pivot to the Spaniard to provide stiffer competition for number one Aaron Ramsdale. Raya was one of the Premier League’s best-performing keepers last season, and his profile is perfect for Mikel Arteta – not to mention the Spanish connection.
Brentford have long known they’d be without Raya for the 2023/24 campaign, although they were initially stubborn over their £40m valuation which deterred the likes of Tottenham and Man Utd. However, with Raya pushing for a move to north London once the Gunners’ interest became known, the Bees were forced to compromise.
Interesting twist in Arsenal’s David Raya deal
It was initially believed that the Spanish international would join the club permanently for a fee of around £30m. However, David Ornstein reported on Wednesday evening that the goalkeeper will instead join the club on an initial loan with Arsenal having the option to buy him outright at the end of the season.
The Gunners will pay £3m for Raya’s loan and £27m if they decide to buy him permanently.
The 27-year-old has already said his goodbyes at Brentford and is expected to complete his move to the Gunners by the end of the week. He could be registered in time for Saturday’s Premier League opener against Nottingham Forest, although he isn’t expected to displace Ramsdale just yet.
Considering the finances involved, this move looks like a masterstroke on Arsenal’s behalf. The club essentially get a one-year tester with Raya to see how the dynamic with Ramsdale works. Will the pair spur each other on, or will the increased competition cause a little bit of friction and dissatisfaction? You’d like to think the former will occur.
Nevertheless, Raya is a quality goalkeeper who has the potential to usurp Ramsdale should his form ever waver. With the new shot-stopper unlikely to be content with backup duties, we could see one take Premier League duties, while the other – likely Raya – starts the Champions League games. Arsenal have a year to figure things out.