EXCLUSIVE: Arsenal reinstate interest in David Raya from Brentford

Arsenal have reinstated their interest in David Raya from Brentford as Runar Alex Runarsson looks set to leave Arsenal on loan in January after an underwhelming start to his Arsenal career, according to sources close to Arsenal Central.

The Icelandic international who was signed for just over £1m from Dijon FCO has only featured for 450 minutes which consists of four starts in the Europa League and one start in the Carabao Cup.

Runarsson’s former club finished 16th in Ligue Un in the 2019/20 season where he started 17 matches and only managed 1 clean sheet.

Today in his pre-match press conference, ahead of Crystal Palace visiting the Emirates on Thursday night, Mikel Arteta declared: “Because of the situation that developed with Emi we did not have much time to do what we really wanted to do [with the goalkeeping situation last summer].”

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND – SEPTEMBER 28: Mikel Arteta, Manager of Arsenal is interviewed following his sides defeat in the Premier League match between Liverpool and Arsenal at Anfield on September 28, 2020 in Liverpool, England. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED BY PAUL ELLIS – POOL/GETTY IMAGES.

Runnarson conceded four preventable goals against Manchester City with the worst of them the ball slipping through the goalkeeper’s hands from a 30 yards out set piece from Riyad Mahrez. Due to the Icelandic’s poor individual performance Arsenal were knocked out of the Carabao Cup in the Quarter-Final.

Mikel Arteta was frustrated by Runarsson’s performance that evening and Arsenal Central has been informed that the 25-year-old did not take the feedback in training the next morning in a constructive manner.

Arsenal understand that they now need a method of rebuilding Runarsson’s confidence after a morale-destroying performance and the club believe the best way of doing that is sending him out on loan for the remainder of the season.

Runar Alex Runarsson playing for Arsenal in the Europa League ALL RIGHTS RESERVED Getty Images

According to David Ornstein, “a host of teams in the Championship and Europe [are] interested in taking him for the second half of the campaign.”

Due to the mitigating circumstances in which Emi Martinez left for Aston Villa,  Arsenal were rushed into a decision and ended up taking the advice of Goalkeeping Coach, Inaki Cana, who worked alongside Alex Runarsson at FC Nordsjaelland in Denmark.

Arsenal Central has been informed that Mikel Arteta’s contract negotiation team will go back in for David Raya during this winter transfer window as he remains Arsenal’s top goalkeeping target despite signing a four-year extension at Brentford when interest was last shown by The Gunners last summer.

Unlike Runarsson, the Brentford No. 1 will demand regular game time and the chance to compete against Bernd Leno which is something that Mikel Arteta could not offer Emi Martinez despite his FA Cup triumph in the latter end of the 2019/20 season and may not be able to offer David Raya regular starts either.

Arsenal need to consider the fact the 25-year-old Spaniard has recently signed a new long term contract meaning that Raya will inevitably demand big wages from Arsenal in order to move from west to north London this month.

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