David Raya says he ‘couldn’t say no’ to Arsenal once the Premier League title hopefuls made their move to bring him to the club from Brentford.
The Gunners confirmed the capture of the Spanish goalkeeper on Tuesday afternoon, initially signing him on a season-long loan from the west London club.
Arsenal will pay Brentford an initial loan fee of £3 million for the 27-year-old, but the deal comes with an option that can see them make the move permanent for a further £27m next summer.
That is an option Arsenal are expected to take up for a keeper they have tracked for the past three years.
And, speaking about making the move, Raya admitted the opportunity was one he simply couldn’t turn down.
“I’m over the moon to be able to take this challenge in my career and make the step up,” he told Arsenal.com.
“I’m really excited to get going and see how the season ends up. I spoke to the boss and he sent me the values of what Arsenal are about.
“The way that the club is going, it’s growing even more so it is a beautiful challenge to take and I couldn’t say no.
“I’ve seen Arsenal a lot for a lot of years and since [Mikel] came he’s made a massive difference to the style of play and to the club. The way the team plays out of the back, being confident and taking possession to the other team is the main thing why I fit into the team.”
Raya, who will wear the No.22 shirt, is going to be in direct competition with Aaron Ramsdale for a starting spot at Arsenal.
Many have questioned whether that is something that can continue long-term, but the Spaniard insists he is looking forward to working with the England international.
“I can’t wait to be out there training with the lads and getting that GK [goalkeeper] union going.
“That’s a tight group that we’re always going to get along and push each other, so that’s going to be a healthy group in my opinion.
“One of the challenges is to get used to the style and the patterns, and get to know the players as soon as possible to get that bond from the beginning.
“Knowing the players and the staff, I think they’re going to put me in the right direction and I’ll fit in straight away.”