Arteta’s trusted ally shows Arsenal’s real Raya plan after back-up keeper claims

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Arsenal are looking to sign Brentford goalkeeper David Raya (Image: Getty Images)
Arsenal are looking to sign Brentford goalkeeper David Raya (Image: Getty Images)

Arsenal are looking to sign Brentford goalkeeper David Raya this summer, with the Spaniard highly-rated by Mikel Arteta's trusted goalkeeping coach Inaki Cana.

Cana previously worked with Raya during his time on Brentford's coaching staff, before leaving to link up with Arteta at Arsenal. During his time at Brentford, Cana played a big role in their decision to sign Raya from Blackburn Rovers in the first place and the goalkeeper has previously hailed the impact the coach had on his career.

"He helped me loads," Raya told the Independent back in 2021. "He's a completely different character on the pitch, he's very hardworking, very tough, and I think every goalkeeper who's worked from him will tell you the same.

"You learn a lot, he puts you on your toes all the time, and he never lets you go down a level. He wants every single exercise 110 per cent, you cannot go 80. If you go 80, you cannot catch up, it’s impossible."

And Arteta has also admitted Cana "has a big say" on which goalkeepers Arsenal sign and that he has "big faith" in him. "When it comes down to the goalkeeper, he [Cana] has a big say on how we are going to implement our methodology, how we are going to train them and how we are going to treat the goalkeeping position in the short, medium and long term," Arteta said in 2020.

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"Obviously at the end it will be me who makes the decision [on which goalkeeper to buy]. But it is very important that the people around me, who have on many occasions a much clearer criteria and specificity than me, that I really listen to them and try to follow what their feelings are. I have big faith in Inaki as I do with the rest of the staff that are here."

Despite reports claiming Raya would only act as a back-up to Aaron Ramsdale if he joins Arsenal, the 27-year-old will instead be competing with the England international for the No. 1 spot should the move go through. Arsenal were first interested in signing Raya in 2021 before they bought Ramsdale from Sheffield United and Arteta has spent the summer looking back at how his side fell short in last season's Premier League title challenge and how they can improve.

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According to the Express, two of the key moments pinpointed by Arteta were mistakes from Ramsdale. The errors in question were a poor pass against Southampton which led directly to their opening goal in a game that ended 3-3 and a tame parry which resulted in another goal in the 3-0 loss to Brighton a month later.

As a result, Arsenal are looking to bring in Raya to compete with Ramsdale and the statistics are in his favour. No Premier League player made more errors leading directly to a shot than the Gunners stopper last season with six, while Raya only made two.

Raya also had the highest save percentage rate of any Premier League goalkeeper, while Opta stats show he prevented 5.77 more goals than expected but Ramsdale conceded 1.2 more than expected.

Spain's No.1 is also excellent with the ball at his feet, something Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has been quick to praise him for in the past stating: "The goalkeeper could have had the shirt with the No. 10," Klopp said. "He played a few incredible balls."

Matthew Cooper

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