“We’ll see what happens” - David Raya gives verdict on taking Arsenal number one spot and future plans
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David Raya has opened up about his career aspirations and his relationship with fellow goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale.
The 28-year-old has enjoyed a sensational rise up the footballing pyramid over the last 10 years. He made his professional debut in the fifth tier of English football with Southport in 2014 has enjoyed a huge ascension which has seen him establish himself as a key player for Blackburn Rovers, Brentford and now Arsenal.
He made his full Spanish debut last year and travelled with the team to Qatar for last winter’s World Cup and now has aspirations of becoming his nation’s first choice goalkeeper at the upcoming European Championships in Germany.
Raya’s move to Arsenal was one which raised eyebrows, despite his performances for Brentford. Many pundits were surprised by the move due to the talents of last season’s undisputed first choice Aaron Ramsdale and the ex-Brentford keeper has now replaced him in the starting lineup.
His most recent appearance saw him guide Arsenal to a clean sheet and a 1-0 victory over title rivals Manchester City, while he was also involved in victories over Everton and Bournemouth, as well as a 2-2 draw in the North London derby with Spurs.
Speaking to The Athletic, Raya has spoken of his relationship with Ramsdale who he has replaced in the sticks.
He said: “The relationship? It’s very good. At the end of the day, we are mates, which is the important thing. We have a very healthy relationship. There are no problems.
“We push each other every day in training: when he’s a little bit down, I push him, and when I’m a little bit down [he does the same]. We train three goalkeepers, four at the most, for hours a week, and you need that kind of relationship because otherwise, the training is not going to go well.”
Raya has aspirations of being the first Arsenal goalkeeper in 20 years to win a league title and spoke of his ideal end to the season.
He added: “I don’t like to look to the future, I like to look at the day-to-day… but the perfect end would be to win a title with Arsenal, to be called up to the national team for the European Championship, and to have a good tournament.”
Raya was born and raised in Barcelona and is known for his excellent ability on the ball. As a youngster he was trained to combine his goalkeeping abilities with outfield skills while playing futsal. He explained that while he is very happy at Arsenal he would not rule out a return to Spain at some stage later in his career.
Raya said: “Right now, I don’t have it in mind. Would I like to play in La Liga? Yes, of course… but at the moment I’m at Arsenal, I’m very happy, and we’ll see what happens in the next few years.”