Michael Owen issues verdict on David Raya after Arsenal win in Champions League

Michael Owen has lauded David Raya and admitted that he would probably stick with the Spaniard in the Arsenal goal for this weekend’s North London derby.

Owen was speaking on TNT Sports (broadcast on 20/9; 22:20) after the 28-year-old kept another clean sheet, helping Mikel Arteta’s side beat PSV Eindhoven in the Champions League.

David Raya has received his chance following the international break. And he is yet to concede a goal in his opening two appearances for the Gunners.

In fairness, Raya has not had an awful lot to do thus far. However, you can understand why Mikel Arteta decided to bring him to the Emirates in the summer. He is an outstanding performer.

Of course, the North London derby is now emerging on the horizon. Tottenham have also made a very good start to the campaign. So it is going to be a tough task for Arsenal.

Owen lauds Raya after Arsenal win on Champions League return
It would be a big call to switch the goalkeepers back again and bring Aaron Ramsdale back into the side. And Michael Owen suggested that he would stand by Raya for the weekend.

It’s fascinating. I probably would side with sticking. I like Raya,” he told TNT Sports. “As soon as I saw him at Brentford, I thought this keeper can play in a Champions League team.

“I think he’s exceptional. He’s very good with his feet. He’s an all-rounder. And I rate Ramsdale as well. But if I had to choose, I’d probably just side with Raya.”

Arteta has proved that he is not afraid to make a big call. So if there is any manager who is prepared to make a change ahead of the clash with Spurs, it is probably Arteta.

But it would be a shock if Raya dropped out of the side again. He is yet to be really tested. So it would be unfair to leave him out again.

Arteta has to be so careful with how he manages the two goalkeepers. Both have a right to be the number one for a team battling near the top of the Premier League.

Ramsdale was unlucky to drop down to the bench. But it is now Raya’s turn to show what he can do. And he will be motivated by the prospect of earning a £30 million move.

Certainly, if he can step up this weekend, Raya may find himself with a bit of breathing space – for a few weeks at least.

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