David Raya makes Arsenal vow in response to critics of his elevation to first-choice goalkeeper

David Raya makes Arsenal vow in response to critics of his elevation to first-choice goalkeeper

David Raya believes he is “finding his feet” at Arsenal after a difficult start to life in north London.

The goalkeeper moved to the Gunners on loan from Brentford in the summer for a fee of £3million and is expected to join permanently at the end of the season for £27m.

Raya has replaced Aaron Ramsdale as Arsenal’s No1 and endured some shaky performances in his first few months.

The Spaniard, however, looked back to his best on Saturday and kept a clean sheet as the Gunners beat Crystal Palace 5-0. Raya even had a big hand in Arsenal’s third goal, starting off a counter-attack with a quick throw that culminated in Leandro Trossard scoring.

"A pre-assist!" he said of the goal. "There have been a few ways this season that we have countered from [our own] goal, so it was a nice one to score.

"I think we had a chance before when we played it to Kai Havertz and we didn’t finish it with a shot on target. The next one, Leo did everything that he could to score the goal and from there we didn’t look back. We went for another one and another one.

"I think you need time to adapt to a new team, new club, new facilities and new demands.

"It’s not easy, but I think I am finding my feet and I am finding myself now. It was really important for everybody to win the game and of course I am feeling part of the team."

The win over Palace was a big one for Arsenal given that they were coming into it off the back of three defeats on the spin. Mikel Arteta’s side had looked fatigued during that run and their mid-season break came at just the right time.

It was Arsenal’s first match for 11 days and they used the break to head to Dubai for a stint of warm-weather training. Raya believes the camp was a huge success and the squad will feel its benefits in the second half of the season.

"It was a good break, it was a good way to reconnect with the players and the staff and a good way to train,” he said. "We trained really, really hard and we focused on the things that we had to to improve.

"We have shown today we are capable of beating anybody at the highest level. It’s a point on the table to say that we are here and to fight for everything.

"In a season you always get bad periods and every team has bad periods. We went through a tricky period that last few weeks. So we got our feedback and we won the game today.

"I think we needed a win like this. The way we played, the way we we scored the goals, the way we defended - we think the whole match was superb.

"Obviously there are things that we have to improve, as always, but I think the game overall was really good. So the main thing was the three points and I think we fully deserved the win with the way we played."