Arsenal signed Brentford goalkeeper David Raya on a season-long loan on Tuesday.
Raya’s move to the Emirates Stadium puts the Spain international in an intriguing contest with England’s Aaron Ramsdale to start in goal for the Gunners.
The 27-year-old played in all 38 Premier League games for Brentford last season, earning widespread praise for his performances.
He had been linked with a £30 million (35 million euros) switch to Arsenal prior to his loan deal, which is reported to have cost the north London club around £3 million.
Arsenal have the option of making the Raya signing into a permanent transfer for a reported £27 million at the end of this season.
“We welcome David to us on a season-long loan. David is a top-quality goalkeeper, who has consistently performed to a high level with Brentford in the Premier League,” Arsenal Sporting Director Edu said.
“With David joining us we are adding quality and depth to our squad so we can perform at the highest possible level in all competitions.”
Making it official ✍️ pic.twitter.com/P83uDQU6V4
— Arsenal (@Arsenal) August 15, 2023
Raya was spotted in the stands at the Emirates Stadium on Saturday for title-chasing Arsenal’s season-opening 2-1 win over Nottingham Forest.
Ramsdale has been a solid performer for Arsenal since arriving from Sheffield United in 2021.
But Gunners boss Mikel Arteta wanted more competition for Ramsdale after selling back-up Matt Turner to Forest.
Raya will put the 25-year-old Ramsdale’s hold on the Arsenal keeper’s jersey under intense pressure.
Raya has 20 clean-sheets in 62 Premier League games and made 161 appearances in all competitions for Brentford.
Despite his loan move on Tuesday, the Spaniard has also extended his contract with Brentford by two years, with a club option for an additional 12 months.
Brentford director of football Phil Giles said: “I’m sure the first question that all Brentford fans will ask is why this transfer has been structured as an initial loan with Arsenal having the option to make it permanent in the future.
“The answer to that is simply that it enables this deal to be done more rapidly between both clubs, with all parties wanting to make this a permanent transfer as soon as practically possible, whenever that might be.”