Arsenal have agreed a deal to sign Brentford goalkeeper David Raya. It’s likely to be announced later this week assuming there are no issues with the medical. Here are the full details of the deal including the David Raya transfer fee.
This news will clearly come as a blow to Brentford with their first choice goalkeeper departing in the week before the new Premier League season. However it’s another example of the West London club registering an enormous profit on a player. Raya initially joined the Bees in 2019 from Blackburn Rovers for a fee of just under £3m.
He was part of the Brentford side that won promotion to the Premier League for the first time in 2021 and was an ever-present last season in the English top flight, starting all 38 games. Raya’s successful time in England has also seen him win international recognition with the Spanish national team and he’ll be hoping a move to Arsenal furthers his chances of taking part in Euro 2024 next summer.
David Raya Transfer Fee
Not the £40m #BrentfordFC wanted, but a good fee for a GK with less than a year on his contract who wanted to leave
— Jay Harris (@jaydmharris) August 9, 2023
Brentford were hoping to bring in around £40m for Raya with a number of top clubs linked to his signature this summer. Bayern Munich was one potential destination for the keeper, but in the end, Arsenal have won the race with the total transfer fee believed to be around £30m.
It’s a situation where both clubs may walk away thinking they’ve got a reasonably good deal. Brentford could have turned down all offers, but would have most likely lost Raya on a free transfer next summer when his contract expires with the 27 year old pretty clear in his desire to leave the Brentford Community Stadium.
Arsenal meanwhile will see this as a good price for one of the more impressive goalkeepers in the Premier League over the past two seasons. Raya’s arrival really strengthens their options between the sticks and it’s going to be interesting to see how Mikel Arteta manages his two keepers.
Raya’s Role at the Emirates
This signing feels like a direct challenge to Arsenal’s current first choice Aaron Ramsdale. “Bring it on” was Ramsdale’s reaction when quizzed by ITV Sport about the imminent arrival of Raya.
The Englishman is coming off an impressive campaign but Arsenal are clearly keen to have two strong goalkeepers in their ranks ahead of a return to the Champions League this season. One possibility is that Arteta continues to use Ramsdale in the league while giving Raya the starting berth in the Champions League and cup competitions.
It’s likely Raya would have received some assurances that he’ll get playing time before he agreed to sign for the Gunners given it seems unlikely that Arteta would immediately relegate Ramsdale to a back-up role in the Premier League.
As the season progresses, we may simply have a case of healthy competition between the two men. Both are solid options for Arteta and with both still relatively young goalkeepers, the addition of Raya continues the process of building a youthful but competitive squad as the Gunners seek to return to the days of competing for silverware on a regular basis.