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Mikel Arteta outlines reasons for selecting David Raya over Aaron Ramsdale


Mikel Arteta suggested David Raya’s form speaks for itself when probed over his continued selection over Aaron Ramsdale.

Raya took over as Arsenal’s number one goalkeeper in September, ousting Ramsdale from the side for the Premier League clash with Everton at Goodison Park.

The summer loan signing from Brentford has kept his place since then – only missing out against his parent club because he was ineligible – and has also been chosen between the sticks for Arsenal’s Champions League campaign.

The 28-year-old’s place in the side has again been questioned after he made two mistakes in Arsenal’s 4-3 win over Luton Town on Tuesday – errors that Arteta deflected away from his goalkeeper in the immediate aftermath of the game.

Speaking at his weekly press conference, ahead of Arsenal’s trip to Aston Villa, Arteta pointed to Raya’s performance levels has being a key driver for his continued selection, while he reinforced previous comments of being pleased with his squad’s strength in depth.

“Maybe because of the debate, but I think when you look at his form and what he’s achieved since he’s been with us, it’s been really, really impressive,” Arteta said, when probed about whether Raya is affected by Ramsdale and the scrutiny of who is first choice.

“What can I say? I have three great goalkeepers. I’m really happy. I have great wingers. Some of them are on the bench but the questions are not related to them. I have to accept that.

David Raya

David Raya has looked a little shaky at times but has the backing of his manager / Julian Finney/GettyImages

“We have to support our players, protect them and get the best out of them. I focus more on that. All our players deserve the right love and support. He has had that for sure and will continue to.”

Arteta also spoke of his excitement at taking on in-form Aston Villa, who are third in the Premier League table and have enjoyed a remarkable run of 14 consecutive home wins under Unai Emery.

On the challenge of taking on one of the division’s most dangerous sides, he added: “Huge credit to Unai and staff for the way they have turned things around. They are going to be a really tough opponent.

“It’s a great place to go. One of my favourite grounds. Very English ground. Great atmosphere. It’s going to be a big chance for us.

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