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Arsenal transfer news: Raya silences critics and puts final nail in Ramsdale coffin

David Raya, Arsenal, 2023-24

Is this the game that finally proves to be the turning point for David Raya’s Arsenal career?

The Spanish goalkeeper has had a largely disappointing first season at the Emirates, heavily criticised by both fans and the media.

However, on Tuesday evening, Raya was the hero in Arsenal’s dramatic Champions League last-16 victory over Porto.

Trailing 1-0 from the first leg in Portugal, Arsenal won 1-0 on the night and then 4-2 on penalties to book their place in the quarter finals.

Raya was man of the match after making two superb saves in the penalty shootout, sprawling to his left to push away spot-kicks from Wendell and Galeno.

Earlier in normal game he had made two big saves – one at 0-0 and another to preserve Arsenal’s one-goal lead on the night.

As he raced away to celebrate the spot-kick winning save from Galeno, he was mobbed by the entire Arsenal squad who raced over towards him.

Could this be the moment that really launches Raya’s Arsenal career?

Raya to join Arsenal permanently

Arsenal will soon confirm the permanent signing of David Raya from Brentford for €32 million, having initially moved to the Emirates on loan.

Raya joined Arsenal from Brentford on loan last summer in a controversial deal, pushing out former number one Aaron Ramsdale.

Ramsdale had performed admirably as they went close to winning the Premier League title last season.

But manager Mikel Arteta believed that Raya would be an improvement on Ramsdale, especially in his distribution and construction from the back.

However, until Tuesday night, Raya had not proven to be an upgrade at all. He has made a string of errors and largely looked nervy for chunks of the season despite Arsenal sitting top of the Premier League.

But the last four days has been hugely positive for Raya. He silenced all his critics and had the Gunners fans finally singing his name.

Could he now follow in the footsteps of Kai Havertz, another big signing last summer who struggled in his first months with Arsenal but has really hit his stride in recent weeks? Havertz also dispatched his penalty against Porto.

As for Ramsdale, this performance from Raya could be the final nail in his Arsenal coffin. It comes just says after the Englishman made a horrendous error to gift Yoane Wissa the equaliser in the Premier League match with Brentford on Saturday.

Luckily for Arsenal, Havertz scored an 86th minute winner to prevent the Gunners dropping crucial points in the title race.

For Ramsdale, though, the damage was done and Raya has now rubbed further salt into that wound.

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