Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta has explained why he has dropped Aaron Ramsdale in favour of David Raya. The Spanish manager made a change in goal for the Premier League match away to Everton on Sunday.
Ramsdale had started the last 52 games for Arsenal in the English top flight. But he was surprisingly named among the substitutes at Goodison Park. Raya will make his debut after joining on loan from Brentford in August. The Gunners paid the Bees a £3million loan fee and have the option to buy the 28-year-old for a further £27m at the end of the season.
His arrival was questioned by many pundits and ex-players, who raised doubts over having two goalkeepers who view themselves as No 1s. Raya has been Brentford’s No 1 since joining from Blackburn in 2019 and is also a full Spain international. Raya only joined Arsenal following the opening-day win over Nottingham Forest. Arteta had resisted giving him an opportunity for the three games that followed but has now bit the bullet and picked him instead of Ramsdale.
Explaining his decision, Arteta said he was keen to give Raya minutes ahead of a busy period. He told Sky Sports: “I think I mentioned that we wanted to build a squad with two players with quality in each position, with different characteristics. We’ve got that now and to maximise that they have to play games. We have a lot of games coming up and it’s the same with other players that we have rotated, and we will give a lot of game time in the next few games.”
Ramsdale only signed a new contract at Arsenal earlier this year that should keep him at the Emirates until 2026, with the option of a further year.