David Raya, the talented Spanish goalkeeper who just made his big move to Arsenal, has made quite an impression since his early days playing in England. At just 15 years old, Raya’s skills caught the attention of Blackburn Rovers, who signed him after a single training session. Despite the humble transfer fee of £10,000 at the time, Raya’s value has skyrocketed, with Arsenal potentially paying £30m for his services following a successful loan spell at the Emirates Stadium.
Last season, Raya proved his worth as a top-flight goalkeeper. He faced the most shots, made the most saves, claimed the second-most crosses, and completed the most passes among his peers in the premier league. It’s no wonder his teammates and opponents have come to rely on his exceptional abilities. Raya’s all-round play, encompassing shot-stopping skills and the capacity to contribute from the back, epitomizes the modern goalkeeper. This comprehensive skill set has been nurtured throughout his career, with key contributions from Steven Drench, his development goalkeeper coach during his time at Blackburn.
Extra Outfield Player
Raya’s comfort with the ball at his feet is no surprise, considering his background in playing futsal in Spain. His technical prowess, shot-stopping ability, and athleticism stood out from an early age and have propelled him to new heights. Drench’s guidance and emphasis on distribution played a crucial role in Raya’s development. As the game continues to evolve, being adept with their feet is an essential attribute for goalkeepers. Raya’s superb distribution is a clear standout, making him a valuable asset for Brentford and a suitable fit for any top-tier European club.
Raya’s remarkable style of play was on full display during Brentford’s promotion to the Premier League in 2021. He remarkably completed 300 more passes than any other goalkeeper in the championship. Jurgen Klopp himself acknowledged Raya’s exceptional distribution skills when Liverpool faced Brentford by saying “The goalkeeper could have the shirt with No 10,”. The Spanish goalkeeper’s confidence on the ball has earned him comparisons to an extra outfield player, a testament to his immense talent.
David Raya’s journey from Blackburn to Arsenal has showcased his incredible growth as a goalkeeper. With his skillful shot-stopping, tremendous distribution, and overall contribution on the field, Raya has become a sought-after talent. As his career continues to flourish, it’s evident that he possesses the qualities to excel in any top European league.