Arteta ‘observed Ramsdale’s reaction’ after Arsenal’s ‘essential’ Raya signing

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    Mikel Arteta has denied he is rolling the dice by bringing another top goalkeeper to Arsenal.

    The Gunners boss is adamant that current first-choice Aaron Ramsdale has responded to the loan arrival of Brentford’s £30million-rated Spanish stopper David Raya with relish and enthusiasm.

    Forget the idea that having two quality keepers scrapping to be Emirates number one might upset the unique dressing-room spirit built under Arteta over the last three-and-a-half years.

    Or that the individuals concerned could fall out if and when one nails down the spot between the sticks over the other. According to Arteta, the desire to improve as a collective means anyone affected detrimentally by a new rival in their position is simply not suited to his club.

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    Asked how England international Ramsdale, 25, has been since the surprise signing of Raya, 27, the Spanish boss, who takes last season’s title runners-up to Crystal Palace tomorrow evening, said: “It’s very positive.

    “The way I see them training. I saw a session they did the other day and it was fantastic. The connection that they have straightaway is really good.

    “But this is something that doesn’t surprise me. It’s something I expect from players. It is the same as when I bought Declan Rice…what is the reaction? Hopefully, it’s really really positive, because the team wants to be better.

    “If the reaction is that he doesn’t want to be better, then I would be worried, because it would mean we hadn’t created the environment we want at this club.

    “As far as he (Ramsdale) is concerned, to reach the next level as a squad, there must be intense competition for every place. “

    So, despite the possible risks and pitfalls, it is a calculated approach that Arteta feels he must take as Arsenal compete for major silverware this season. To a degree, at least.

    The ex-Arsenal, Everton and Rangers playmaker explained: “It’s not a gamble – it’s a necessity. There’s not another way. The difference between tier one and what you call tier two players is too big. How do we resolve that?

    “We can bring excellent players through from the academy but, unfortunately, today we don’t have that somebody to make that step. So we have to create that environment. It’s not a competition. It’s to raise the level and the demands. “

    And pointing at rival clubs who have spent big on doubling up on keepers, he added: “When you see the others, where they have two very good goalkeepers, they spend £80m, £60m, £85m.

    “What does that mean? We want to do it our way. I’m extremely happy and we want to keep building a better squad. That’s what the Premier League and Champions League require. It’s very simple.”

    • Champions League
    • Premier League
    • Arsenal FC
    • Mikel Arteta

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