Brentford chief explains why David Raya has been allowed to join Arsenal on loan

David Raya has joined Arsenal from Brentford initially on loan (Picture: Getty)

Arsenal have completed the signing of goalkeeper David Raya from Brentford on a season-long loan, with an option for a permanent transfer.

The 27-year-old played in all 38 of the Bees’ Premier League games last season keeping 11 clean sheets and conceding 46 goals.

He will compete with England international Aaron Ramsdale for the number one position as Mikel Arteta’s team look to build on last season’s title challenge, whilst also playing in the Champions League for the first time 2017.

Eyebrows have been raised by Brentford’s willingness to accommodate Raya’s desire to join Arsenal by allowing him to join on a temporary basis.

The former Blackburn shot stopper has signed a new contract to protect Brentford and Raya’s value should Arsenal opt not to take up the option to sign him next summer but Bees’ director of football Phil Giles insists the deal has been structured as such to ensure it went through as quickly as possible.

‘The answer to that is simply that it enables this deal to be done more rapidly between both clubs, with all parties wanting to make this a permanent transfer as soon as practically possible, whenever that might be,’ revealed Giles.

‘David’s contract extension is a fall-back position in the event that the transfer is not made permanent. I’m not expecting to see David back at Brentford, although if ever that happened then of course the opportunity to work with such a high-class goalkeeper for up to two more years would in many ways be an unexpected bonus for us.

‘David has been a magnificent goalkeeper for us. He thoroughly deserves his move to a Champions League club and the next step in his career.

‘In our view he is one of the best goalkeepers in the Premier League and will show himself to be one of the best in the world in the next few seasons.

‘On top of that, he is a fantastic human being, and his conduct around the training ground these last few weeks has been, given the uncertainty around his future, absolutely exemplary. We wish him nothing but good luck.’

Raya made his debut for Spain during a 2-1 friendly win against Albania in March 2022 and was a part of Luis Enrique’s squad for last year’s World Cup.

Tottenham had reportedly been keen to sign him as a long-term replacement for Hugo Lloris but a deal to take him from the Gtech Stadium did not materialise.

Arsenal sold back-up keeper Matt Turner to Nottingham Forest earlier this month, with the United States international making his debut for his new side during Saturday’s 2-1 defeat at the Emirates.

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