Arsenal ace David Raya has ‘earned right’ to be ‘respected’ after tough start, says Mikel Arteta | Football

David Raya has settled in at Arsenal after a challenging start (Picture: Getty)

Mikel Arteta has showered David Raya with praise, arguing that the goalkeeper has ‘earned the right’ to be ‘respected’ for the way in which he came through a ‘very challenging’ introduction at Arsenal.

Eyebrows were raised as Arsenal completed a season-long loan deal with Brentford for Raya, 28, last summer, with Aaron Ramsdale, 25, seemingly nailing down the club’s number one spot in his opening two years in north London.

But Ramsdale’s performances had dipped in the back-end of last season and the club prioritised bringing in competition for the England international, determined to add depth to their squad to compete with the likes of Liverpool and Manchester City.

Raya has since cemented his place as Arteta’s first-choice shot-stopper, while Ramsdale’s future at the Emirates appears in serious doubt after being limited to just five appearances in the Premier League this term.

The Spaniard has started all of four games of Arsenal’s winning streak and is expected to continue his run in the side this weekend when the Gunners travel to Burnley in the English top flight.

Asked about the way Raya has settled into the team at his pre-match press conference, Arteta told reporters: ‘What I like about David, as well is what he does in goal.

The things that he prevents us from, you don’t even see because they don’t happen, because he has anticipated them.

Mikel Arteta speaks at his Arsenal press conference

Arteta’s side could go top if results go their way this weekend (Picture: Getty)

‘But yeah, obviously he had the environment that was very challenging. But that’s what I love about him.

‘The players with the courage and the character and personality. When even it is like this, they want to be themselves and they push themselves to do that.

‘He has earned the right to be very respected and I’m really happy that he’s winning.’

Ramsdale has lost his place to Raya this season (Picture: Getty)

Burnley find themselves languishing down in 19th place after going six matches without victory, but Arteta is anticipating a ‘very tough’ encounter with Vincent Kompany’s men – who won promotion from the Championship last term.

‘You just have to see the recent games when they went to Anfield, what they did, and how Liverpool beat them,’ he added.

‘And it’s going to be at home, which is going to be even more difficult. So it’ll be very tough.’

Burnley are struggling down in 19th place in the Premier League table (Picture: Getty)

Arsenal, could go top of the table should results go their way this weekend, are missing a number of players through injury, with Gabriel Jesus, Oleksandr Zinchenko, Emile Smith Rowe, Takehiro Tomiyasu all doubts for the Turf Moor clash.

Arteta is hopeful all four players could play a part and believes a fully fit squad could be crucial if the club are to compete with their title rivals in the business end of the campaign.

‘The most important thing to impact at the end of the season is to have the squad fully available. For me, that is requirement number one,’ the Arsenal manager went on.

‘At the moment, we don’t have it and we’re going to have to have it and we are working really hard to have it.

‘This is the requirement number one. The two, three, four, if we don’t have that one, it’s going to be difficult.

‘I think we have a good chance.’

For more stories like this, check our sport page.

Follow Metro Sport for the latest news on
Facebook, 
Twitter and Instagram.


MORE : Map reveals places in London where pets are most likely to be stolen


MORE : Mikel Arteta speaks out on his love of Kai Havertz despite Arsenal exit links


MORE : Newcastle provide injury updates on Alexander Isak and Callum Wilson ahead of Bournemouth clash

General Sport