Mikel Arteta explains David Raya signing and makes Arsenal No. 1 admission

Mikel Arteta has explained why he decided to sign David Raya from Brentford and insists he does not have a No. 1 in mind at Arsenal despite the presence of Aaron Ramsdale.

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Arsenal have signed Raya on a season-long loan deal and have the option to sign the 27-year-old permanently next summer.

Raya will provide competition for England international Ramsdale after his former deputy Matt Turner moved to Nottingham Forest.

‘He brings the qualities for our game model, it’s very simple. We want two players per position,’ Arteta said.

‘You see what happened to Jurrien [Timber] and that could happen to our goalkeeper. It recently happened to [Real Madrid’s] Thibaut Courtois so we have to be prepared.

‘We have to be prepared and we have to be proactive so now we have two excellent goalkeepers now who fit our style.’

It has been suggested by some – including ex-England midfielder Danny Murphy – that Raya will dislodge Ramsdale as Arsenal’s first-choice goalkeeper and may even have been told he will be Arteta’s No. 1.

But Arteta, who guided Arsenal to their best finish for several years last season, insists he does not have a number one ‘in any position’.

Asked if he understood why some were surprised by the signing, Arteta added: ‘I understand but there are always questions, when we had different goalkeepers there were questions as well.

‘There is nothing wrong we have two great left wingers and two great strikers and two great holding midfielders and that’s not a problem so this shouldn’t be a problem either.’

Arsenal kick-started their 2023-24 Premier League campaign with a 2-1 victory over Nottingham Forest last weekend. The Gunners return to action on Monday night with a London derby at Crystal Palace.

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