Arsenal confirm David Raya signing on initial loan deal

Arsenal confirm the signing of Brentford goalkeeper David Raya on an initial season-long loan deal with a view to a permanent move next summer.

Arsenal have confirmed the signing of Brentford goalkeeper David Raya on an initial season-long loan deal, with an option to make the move permanent in 2024.

The Spain international is believed to have cost the Gunners £3m for the current campaign, and the club are expected to sign him permanently for around £27m next summer.

Raya becomes Arsenal’s fourth signing of the summer window, following Jurrien Timber, Declan Rice and Kai Havertz to the club as he prepares to engage in a fierce battle with Aaron Ramsdale for the number one jersey.

“I’m over the moon to be able to take this challenge in my career and make the step up,” Raya told Arsenal’s media channels. “I’m really excited to get going and see how the season ends up.

“I spoke to the boss and he sent me the values of what Arsenal are about. The way that the club is going, it’s growing even more so it is a beautiful challenge to take and I couldn’t say no.

Brentford's David Raya on May 20, 2023© Reuters

“I’ve seen Arsenal a lot for a lot of years and since [Mikel] came he’s made a massive difference to the style of play and to the club. The way the team plays out of the back, being confident and taking possession to the other team is the main thing why I fit into the team. I’m going to try and help as much as possible and we’ll see what happens.

“I can’t wait to be out there training with the lads and getting that GK union going. That’s a tight group that we’re always going to get along and push each other, so that’s going to be a healthy group in my opinion. I just can’t wait to get going and meet the lads.”

Raya has played a crucial role in Brentford’s rise from the Championship to the top half of the Premier League table, keeping 54 clean sheets in 161 games and making more saves than any other goalkeeper in the English top flight last season.

The 27-year-old had entered the final 12 months of his contract with Thomas Frank‘s side, but Brentford have confirmed that he has signed a two-year extension with the option of an additional 12 months, allowing the Bees to receive a sizeable fee should a permanent sale go through as expected.

Brentford director of football Phil Giles explained the decision to let Raya join on an initial loan move to the club’s official website, while also confirming that he expects the shot-stopper to leave for good in 2024.

Brentford goalkeeper David Raya pictured on December 30, 2022© Reuters

“I’m sure the first question that all Brentford fans will ask is why this transfer has been structured as an initial loan with Arsenal having the option to make it permanent in the future,” Giles said.

“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.

“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.”

Raya arrives at the Emirates to replace Matt Turner, who left after just one year to join Nottingham Forest, and he could potentially make his debut for Arsenal in Monday’s Premier League showdown with Crystal Palace.

The Gunners are now expected to prioritise outgoings for the remainder of the window, but news of a possible severe knee injury to Timber could see another defender arrive depending on sales.

There are fears that the Dutchman damaged his ACL in Saturday’s opening Premier League win over Nottingham Forest, and Manchester City duo Aymeric Laporte and Joao Cancelo are both thought to be on Arsenal’s radar.

ID:521183:1false2false3false:QQ:: from db desktop :LenBod:collect6694: