Arsenal will find themselves in a ‘difficult of a position’ should they sign David Raya, according to former goalkeeper Brad Friedel.
The Brentford star is set to join the Gunners this week on loan for the season, with Mikel Arteta and co having the option to buy.
Raya is set to sign for Arsenal on loan this season, putting Ramsdale under pressure
That’s despite current no.1 Aaron Ramsdale being one of the Gunners best players last season as the north Londoners competed for the Premier League title.
Former Liverpool, Tottenham, Aston Villa and Blackburn goalkeeper Friedel joined talkSPORT’s Hawksbee and Baker on Thursday and was quizzed, firstly, on whether he believes Raya is better than Ramsdale and secondly, if having both glovesman at the club can work.
Speaking about the data company he works with that centres around goalkeeping stats, he said: “Raya does [have better stats]. It’s goalkeeper.com and we’ve actually had a astrophysicist come in. Basically when you look at the stats of a goalkeeper it’s clean sheets and save percentage.
“Well when you played back in the day when I did, you have more clean sheets, you probably have a better save percentage. You’re dealing with shots from bad angles, distances, things of that nature.
“So we do it based on the speed of the shot, where the shots coming from, defender, angles, through balls, shot prevention, crosses, every action has a positive or negative affect.
“And Raya actually in the Premier League was fourth, Ramsdale I think was seventh. Both really good goalkeepers, you know, we’re talking the elite of the elite.
“What stats don’t take into account for it is Ramsdale’s used to playing in front of 60,000 at a bigger club with a lot more pressure. Can Raya deal with that?
“But to answer your first question, can two no.1s exist at one club? No, they can’t. One wants to play.
Friedel joined talkSPORT on Thursday
Ramsdale has been the club’s no.1 and it’s likely Raya will provide stiffer competition than Matt Turner who left for ForestGetty
“The guy who was just there, Matt Turner, sat on the bench for a whole year. He shouldn’t have really signed for Arsenal in the first place in my opinion. He’s good enough to play somewhere.
“But after a whole season, you soon get frustrated. The only time it works is if you’re other goalkeeper is really young and he’s learning and he’s coming up, or in my case, I was really old and on the way down.”
United States goalkeeper Turner left the Emirates to sign for Nottingham Forest on Wednesday for £10m, making just seven appearances for Arsenal since signing last summer.
Friedel knows how it feels to have a new no.1 come in at a club, with Hugo Lloris arriving at Tottenham and eventually taking his place.
But the former Villa star says Lloris’ arrival worked, given he was near the end of his career, and was a totally different scenario that Arsenal are dealing with.
“Daniel Levy told me I’d come in and play one year, they’re looking for another goalkeeper, I’ll give you a two year deal. I ended up doing my coaching badges, coaching academy. I was still with the first team for four years, but I was 42 years old when I was dropped,” he said.
“I played my whole career, so then it worked. This doesn’t. Let’s say Raya gets his chance, he comes in, he plays well, then he gets taken out and gets upset.
“Let’s say he goes in, plays well and keeps his position. Ramsdale’s upset. It’s too difficult of a position to keep team spirit and camaraderie.”
Friedel believes bringing Raya in won’t work wellGETTY
When asked if Raya will be expecting to be no.1, he said: “I don’t know, I don’t know what’s been said to them. What I know is Raya is a Premier League goalkeeper that’s good enough to be no.1 at a host of clubs.
“Any goalkeeper I’ve ever met that has the ability to be a no.1 when they are a no.2 for one month, okay. Two months, okay. When it gets past the third month you’re frustrated, you want to play.
“Then you start contacting your agent, looking for moves elsewhere, loan moves and things of that nature.
“Then, if you’re Mikel Arteta, let’s say Raya is the no.2 and he comes in when he’s signing his paperwork and says ‘yeah I’ll be a team player’, and then he later gets frustrated and isn’t a team player, then you have an issue.”