David Raya opens up on battle with Arsenal team-mate Aaron Ramsdale and claims ‘I’ve made him a better goalkeeper’
DAVID RAYA says Aaron Ramsdale has made him a better goalkeeper.
The Spanish shot-stopper, 28, believes Arsenal’s goalkeeper conundrum has turned into iron sharpening iron at the club’s Colney training base.
Raya has made several mistakes since joining the North London club, with three of them leading to goals.
But Arteta has stuck with him in goal, including the 2- 0 win over Brighton last time out, with Ramsdale making nine appearances so far across allas a result.
When asked if the battle with Ramsdale has made him better, Raya replied: “Of course, and I think I have made him a better goalkeeper.
“I think that battle, or just pushing each other in training, trying to help each other.
“If we see when we are training that we can help each other, that’s how we are and that’s how we do.
“That’s the goalkeeper union from the outside that you see.”
Chelsea are preparing to step up their pursuit of Ramsdale after Robert Sanchez was injured at Everton last week.
Mikel Arteta is said to be reluctant to let him leave in the mid-season window as it would leave him with 21-year-old Karl Hein as his back-up keeper.
And Raya is relishing the competition with the Stoke-born 25-year-old at the Emirates.
He added: “He is a top, top goalkeeper and a top, top team-mate. I hope he can say the same about me!
“We are team-mates, we are fighting for one position. That’s the only problem being a goalkeeper, there is only one that can play and I am just there to help the team as much as possible.
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“We have a good relationship, especially as we push each other in every training session. That is going to make us better and it is going to make the team better.”
The Gunners moved to top of the Premier League table after Sunday’s win over Brighton.
They face a huge chrimbo clash against Liverpool at Anfield this weekend with both teams challenging for the title this term.
Raya isn’t fazed about the Merseyside trip despite Arsenal’s torrid record against the Reds, with them winning only one of their last 14 games at Anfield.
He said: “It is a massive game for any of the top teams playing against Liverpool away from home – with Anfield and the atmosphere.
“It is a top, top game and we have to focus on ourselves, focus on the three points and do the best to get them.”
And Raya won’t be changing up Arteta’s risky new method of playing out from the back at Anfield – despite it causing some tension among supporters.
The ex-Brentford goalkeeper said: “Pressure is what you put on yourself. I don’t think [about] the pressure from the outside, because I don’t listen to the outside world.
“I am just focused on my football and training, and games when the gaffer puts me in. That’s the most important thing and just try to play the gaffer wants me to play.”
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