Schmeichel hits out at Arsenal boss Arteta over decision to sign Raya

Peter Schmeichel hits out at Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta over decision to sign David Raya on loan from Brentford

  • David Raya will join Arsenal on loan with an option to option next summer 
  • Raya moves for an initial £3m loan fee with option to make it permanent for £27m
  • Peter Schmeichel has been left perplexed by the move due to Aaron Ramsdale 

Former Manchester United No 1 Peter Schmeichel has accused Mikel Arteta of jeopardising the confidence of his No 1 goalkeeper with the signing of David Raya on loan from Brentford.  

Brentford have agreed to let Raya join Arsenal on an initial £3million loan with the option to buy set at £27m.

Despite Aaron Ramsdale’s stellar performances between the sticks, it is thought that Mikel Arteta is keen for the England international to have sterner competition.

But Schmeichel is at a loss at the move, with the Dane adamant that it will only bring greater insecurity, rather than greater competition, between the players. 

‘I absolutely do not get it,’ Schmeichel told BBC Radio 5 Live.

Arsenal No 1 Aaron Ramsdale (right) will face stiff competition from David Raya (left) after the Gunners agreed a loan deal with a £27million option to buy with Brentford

Mikel Arteta has targeted Raya in a bid to put sterner competition on Ramsdale in goal

‘I cannot understand how a manager can come to the conclusion that it’s a great thing to have competition for the No 1 shirt.

‘A goalkeeper’s position is very reactive. You cannot create anything on your own, you have to wait for things to happen.

‘You’re now asking your goalkeeper to prove you’re better than the other one. That means you now have to go and do stuff, and you don’t want that. It’s the one position on the pitch where you just want steady.

‘When you have a competition situation he also plays that game for himself and for that position, and I don’t get it.

‘What you do is you put a lot of insecurity into the two of them.’

Schmeichel added: ‘At the same time, having two challenging for number one, you’re also creating potentially a bad atmosphere in the dressing room because it’s a straight up competition between two guys who will either start or not play.

‘They need to know if it goes wrong, which it does now and again, everyone makes a mistake and everyone costs a goal, that the manager says, “that’s alright, mate, you’re still my number one”. You need to have that confidence. If you don’t, you cannot perform 100 per cent for the team.’

Peter Schmeichel is concerned that both goalkeepers will feel under too much pressure now

Arteta has long been keen to provide more in-house competition for places and Raya will add undoubted quality to the goalkeeping department after a standout season at Brentford.

The 27-year-old’s £30m price tag ensures Brentford make a huge profit on the initial £2.7m they paid Blackburn for the goalkeeper in 2019 as the Bees’ moneyball approach to investing early in talent and selling on for an increased figure pays off again.

Brentford were initially holding out for £40m, rejecting Arsenal’s opening offer for their shot-stopper before conceding that they would agree to sell for less.

Barcelona-born Raya is in his prime years and possesses a ball-playing style that is well suited to Arteta’s game-plan at Arsenal.

He played in every one of Brentford’s Premier League fixtures last season as the Bees finished ninth in the top-flight, just one point behind Tottenham. 

Raya also kept 12 Premier League clean sheets last season, two fewer than Ramsdale, and was also courted by Manchester United before they recruited Andre Onana. 

Raya (left) is well-liked by Arteta for his ball-playing style that perfectly suits Arsenal’s system


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