The Arsenal manager has made a big change in goal and former Gunners defender Martin Keown thinks there is a simple reason why.
Martin Keown has suggested David Raya’s skill with the ball at his feet and composure is the reason why Mikel Arteta favors him over Aaron Ramsdale.
Raya joined Arsenal on loan from Brentford in August. The 28-year-old has played in the club’s first two games back from the international break, keeping a clean sheet in each one of them. His impressive start has left the spotlight on Ramsdale, who faces a battle to reclaim his spot in goal.
Speaking on TNT Sport, Keown pointed out a montage of Raya’s long-range passes and ability to stay calm. He thinks that Arteta will keep the Spaniard in goal for now. He also speculated that the manager may consider him a better option for challenging situations than Ramsdale.
“He’s calmness personified and that’s the problem for Ramsdale,” Keown said.
“Is Arteta looking back to some of the situations last season? Like against Southampton, where there were some difficult moments for Ramsdale.
“Does he feel this goalkeeper, Raya, is better in those situations and calmer? Does he look at Pep [Guardiola] and look at what he did to Joe Hart [at Manchester City], look at how he was jettisoned out of the team?
“Maybe it starts with the keeper. There are high standards – maybe he’s the key player in all of this.
“At the moment, I think Raya is slightly better with the ball at his feet. That’s what gets him in the team.”
While the competition for the goalkeeper position continues to unfold, Arsenal will turn their focus to Sunday. They’ll play Tottenham Hotspur at the Emirates in the first north London derby of the season.
The Gunners are chasing a fourth straight win for this weekend after thrashing PSV Eindhoven 4-0 in the Champions League on Wednesday.