David Raya has said he always backed himself to become Arsenal’s first-choice goalkeeper but that he does not know whether he will keep his place for Sunday’s north London derby.
Raya has started Arsenal’s last two matches, against Everton in the Premier League and Wednesday night’s Champions League group match with PSV Eindhoven, after seemingly moving ahead of Aaron Ramsdale in Mikel Arteta’s pecking order.
Asked whether he had to believe in himself to challenge Ramsdale after the Englishman’s impressive performances for Arsenal last season, Raya said: “Of course, it is something every player has to do – to back yourself to get in the team. That is why I moved to Arsenal, to try to do my best for the team when I am selected.
“You never know when you’re going to play and that is the hardest thing to do. Making your debut for a club like Arsenal and obviously having Aaron as a team-mate makes it a bit harder for you. It came quick but you never know when it is going to be and you have to be ready.
“Aaron has been great. He is a great team-mate, a leader as well. He is a great lad and a great keeper. We are team-mates and that is the main thing.
“I’ve just been selected for the last two games, that is just the choice of the gaffer. That is his choice, not my choice, and when Aaron comes in he will need to also fight for the team and to win games.”
Asked about the possibility of the two goalkeepers being regularly rotated this season, Raya added: “I understand that and I think it is the first time that two top goalkeepers are in the same team, so that is just part of football now.
“The gaffer wants two top players for each position and that is what we have to work with. I have played the last two games and now we see what happens on Sunday.”
Raya has joined Arsenal on an initial loan but with the strong expectation that his transfer will become a permanent move for around £30 million.