Does David Raya Deserve To Start Over Aaron Ramsdale?
Mikel Arteta and Arsenal made headlines this summer when it was revealed that the Gunners were attempting to sign Spanish goalkeeper David Raya from Brentford. The club already had a solid backup in USMNT goalkeeper Matt Turner and of course, had Aaron Ramsdale as the first option in goal.
Ramsdale had a remarkably good season last year. In a year where Arsenal pushed Manchester City until the very end in the Premier League title race, the 25-year-old English keeper was immense in the Arsenal goal.
He had such a good year, in fact, that he was voted to the 2023 PFA Premier League Team of the Year. For those who do not know, this award is voted on by other Premier League players; Ramsdale not only impressed Arteta and the pundits, but he also impressed his fellow professionals with his performances last year.
Everything was looking good for Ramsdale. Then came Raya, a ball-playing goalkeeper who has now left Arsenal’s former goalkeeping star rotting on the bench.
Now, do not get me wrong, Raya is a very, very good goalkeeper. Not only can he play with his feet, but he is also a more than accomplished shot-stopper in his own right. However, it is hard to argue against Ramsdale’s shot-stopping ability. And at the end of the day, isn’t this what you really want in your goalkeeper? Someone who can keep balls out of the back of the net?
It is also worth noting that Ramsdale can play with his feet as well. Yes, he is not as good as Raya with the ball and yes, he is prone to make the occasional gaffe when attempting to play out of the back. But Raya is also susceptible to making the same mistakes. Anyone who watched Raya nearly kick the ball off Julián Álvarez‘s shin and into the open Arsenal goal can see this.
Although Raya does seem to fit the bill for Arteta’s Arsenal this season, Ramsdale has been left out to dry by the club that revered him as their savior in goal just one year prior. If he was playing poorly, I would understand Arteta’s decision to leave him on the sideline. However, this is not the case. Ramsdale has done nothing to lose his spot, and the better shot-stopper now finds himself rotting on the Arsenal bench.
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