Journalist ‘staggered’ by Arsenal star’s decision to snub Spurs as £30m man’s ‘ambition’ is ‘questioned’

Arsenal newbie Raya Credit: Alamy
Arsenal newbie Raya Credit: Alamy

The Mirror’s Darren Lewis has hit out at Arsenal newbie David Raya over his “staggering” decision to reject Tottenham Hotspur this summer.

Raya has been one of the standout goalkeepers in the Premier League over the past couple of seasons and his form for Brentford has earned him his debut at international level for Spain.

The 27-year-old was always likely to leave Brentford this summer as he expressed his desire to sign for a club competing in Europe.

Bayern Munich, Manchester United and Tottenham have all been linked with Raya this summer but he has ended up signing for Arsenal.

He has joined the Gunners on a season-long loan deal but they will have the option to sign him permanently in 2024. The total fee for Raya will be £30m with the loan fee and permanent transfer fee included.

Arsenal’s interest in Raya initially came as a surprise due to Aaron Ramsdale’s impressive performances over the past two seasons.

Spurs ended up spending around £17m to sign Guglielmo Vicario from Serie A outfit Empoli but Lewis cannot believe Raya rejected a move to Ange Postecoglou’s side.

“Can I be really controversial as well? I know that you guys [Tottenhan] were in for David Raya. I am staggered that Raya has chosen to go and sit on the bench for a place rather than come to a club like a Spurs where he could play regular first-team football behind a new backline,” Lewis said via the Last Word on Spurs podcast.

“Honestly, I am staggered. You have to question the ambition of any player who would be prepared to sit on the bench behind an England international who helped challenge for a title last season rather than go somewhere where there’s a gaping hole in goal, I’m very surprised by that, I’ve got to say.”

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Man Utd legend Gary Neville thinks Arsenal signing Raya is a mistake as he is “not of fan of competition for goalkeepers”.

“I’ve said this before, I’m not a fan of competition for goalkeepers,” Neville said on Sky Sports’ Monday Night Football.

“I think you need a clear number one and then a clear number two. That’s my view.

“Obviously, I’ve experienced it at United, where we had clear number ones and number twos and we’ve had in some situations two, sort of, equal keepers.”

He added: “The problem is, you end up with a situation every time a goalkeeper makes a mistake, which they inevitably do, where you say ‘will they play the other guy the next week?’

“Once you do that once, you’ve undermined the situation and you’ve created what I think sometimes is a very difficult situation for everybody in the team.

“You haven’t got stability with your back four, both goalkeepers feel a little bit unnerved, a little but anxious that if they make a mistake they’re out.

“So I’m interested to see what Mikel Arteta does with it and how he manages it, because I’ve never seen it work before, really well.”

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