Opinion piece: Will David Raya remain number one goalkeeper if he stays at Arsenal?

David Raya in action for Spain at Euro 2024 during their 1-0 win against Albania.

DAVID Raya has recently been seen in action for Spain in goal at the Euros who are top of Group B, they’re the only side who have won all their games at the tournament so far, however a year ago he could only dream of the occasion.

What’s happened in the space of that time?

On August 15th Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta signed Raya on loan from Brentford after their second ever season of playing in the Premier League as their number one goalkeeper, who had helped them previously re-enter the top-flight of English footballer after 74 years in 2021.

 According to BBC Sport at the time of signing Arsenal sporting director Edu acknowledged his quality and believed he could only upgrade the squad overall.

Edu declared; “David is a top-quality goalkeeper, who has consistently performed to a high level with Brentford in the Premier League.

“With David joining us we are adding quality and depth to our squad so we can perform at the highest possible level in all competitions.”

Raya was only originally signed on a season long- loan deal for £3 million, however by the end of the 2023/24 campaign when The Gunners came second in the Premiership and his contract finished, he had become number one goalie. Currently he is yet to sign a new deal with Arsenal despite being apart of their 2024/25 kit launch.

At the commencing of last season he was arguably a bench warmer despite coming to Arsenal after having recorded 12 clean sheets in his previous Premier League campaign at “The Bees”, but still, he was regarded as a top goalie alongside Aaron Ramsdale who was the main man in goal at the time. After four games played of the 2023/24 Premier League season the Spainsman was handed his full debut versus Everton in which The Gunners won 1-0 witnessing Raya store a clean slate straight away. He eventually claimed 16 clean sheets altogether for the rest of the league season to be awarded The Premier League Golden Glove, becoming the first Gunner in a decade to seal the accolade since Polish keeper Wojciech Szczesny shared it with Chelsea’s Petr Cech with the same tally of clean sheets.

Raya cemented his position as number one goalie from that moment onwards despite Ramsdale reappearing occasionally and stumbling on multiple occasions being shown up by his new rival at The Emirates in his attempt to reclaim his position. However Raya has certainly looked questionable at times too especially during our 3-2 win versus Spurs late on when he let them back into the encounter with a silly mistake. He also looked unconfident in the 1-0 win earlier on in the season against Manchester City 1-0 mishandling the ball multiple times giving Arsenal fans the hippy shake and not for the better either.

The improved goalie from that day onwards stands firm in goal for the up and coming season but will he stay and force Ramsdale to move clubs?