Arsenal’s David Raya earns Garth Crooks’ praise after Liverpool win

By on February 6, 2024

David Raya Arsenal

According to BBC pundit Garth Crooks, Arsenal goalkeeper David Raya is now looking like the ‘real deal’ between the sticks for the Gunners, which is why he made his BBC team of the week.

Arsenal thrashed Liverpool, one of their main title opponents, 3-1 on Sunday evening. The Gunners dominated the game and deserved to win thanks to goals from Bukayo Saka, Gabriel Martinelli and Leandro Trossard.

Arsenal ripped Liverpool open at times, and one such occasion came early on when Martinelli sprinted past Ibrahima Konate to set up Saka with a golden opportunity to score.

Unfortunately, Saka sent his header wide of the post but it was still a lovely move. Some people overlooked it, but the play that led to the chance came from Raya’s excellent long throw that set Martinelli away.

Watch the pass and chance below:

The Spaniard, on loan at Arsenal from Brentford and is expected to complete a £27 million permanent deal in the summer, as per Football London, is currently Arsenal’s first-choice goalkeeper.

Mikel Arteta was unsure whether Raya or Aaron Ramsdale would be his first choice when he spoke about his plans for this season. But after the September international break, the Arsenal boss made a decision about his goalkeeping department; he dropped Ramsdale for Raya.

Raya has been playing game after game since then, meaning he is the first choice. Ramsdale has only featured in Cup games and only made one league appearance (versus Brentford, for which Raya wasn’t eligible to play) since he was dropped in September.

Notably, in his first games for Arsenal, Raya made numerous blunders, and many Gooners wondered why they had to put up with him while Ramsdale warmed the bench. In any case, Arteta was stubborn about his decision and stuck with it, and he is now reaping the rewards of his belief in his fellow countryman.

Raya improving with every game

Crooks named Raya the best Premier League goalie of the 2023–24 Premier League Match Day 23, highlighting how the Gunner has grown in strength and justified his place in the Arsenal lineup.

“I was rather surprised by the way Mikel Arteta first introduced Raya into the Arsenal set-up, especially when Aaron Ramsdale appeared to have done nothing wrong. However, things have settled down since the Spanish goalkeeper took the number one spot,” Crooks said.

“His confidence has steadily improved with every game. He looked especially commanding in their 2-1 win at Nottingham Forest and even more secure in their 3-1 victory over Liverpool. Consecutive wins have taken the Gunners within two points of Jurgen Klopp’s Premier League leaders, and Raya is starting to look like he’s the real deal.”

Many gooners were sceptical of Raya at first, but he appears to be slowly winning them over. To be honest, if Arsenal ended up winning the Premier League in May, Raya would have played a huge role in their victory.

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  1. Pingback: David Raya: Arsenal's Goalkeeping Revelation Praised by Garth Crooks

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