Wednesday, August 16, 2023

Arsenal reach perfect transfer conclusion as $61m Gabriel Magalhaes alternative found after injury

Arsenal have announced their fourth major transfer of the summer. Coming in after the higher-profile additions of Kai Havertz, Declan Rice and Jurrien Timber is Brentford’s David Raya.

The Spaniard was confirmed as having joined on an initial season-long loan with an option to buy further down the line. After the sale of previous back-up goalkeeper Matt Turner to Nottingham Forest, Raya joins now with the ambition of not only playing second fiddle but also of overthrowing Aaron Ramsdale as number one at the Emirates Stadium.

 

“I’m over the moon to be able to take this challenge in my career and make the step up,” he said upon his arrival. “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.”

 

It is the final point that is our main focus here. Raya to Arsenal has been in the works now for several weeks before an announcement was made. It came after he was spotted at the Community Shield win over Manchester City, as well as the opening day, win over Forest on Saturday.

 

Gunners247 says: Here’s the thing with Raya, we have been critical of this deal from the outset and sceptical about how it could work out in the long-term. Arsenal hardly needed this transfer to enhance their squad and whether or not it will work out or not with harmony is not something that becomes clear yet.

However, upon completion, it must be said that this is about as good of a piece of business as it could be. If the Gunners felt they had to do it and were left with no chance then they have pulled it off nearly perfectly. The only thing stopping it from being 100% perfect is that the results of it now need to be seen.

 

£3million ($4m) for a Premier League proven ‘keeper, one of the best performers in the league over the past two seasons, is nothing. To pay that for a player effectively on trial with a modest price to buy him outright is genius. Should Raya go on to be worth the £27million ($34m) price in 10 months time then they will have gotten good value from him and picked up a player that was linked with a £40million ($51m) move earlier in the year for much cheaper.

 

Brentford don’t exactly get much out of this other than a decent sum for a player always likely to leave. Considering Chelsea have just paid £25million ($31m) for Rob Sanchez – a man in worse form – it is astute business and who can say fairer than fair? This one has won us over, even if it could get messy further down the line with Ramsdale.

 

If Raya is a transfer to add strength and depth to Arteta’s squad then Marc Guehi would be a luxury option. Fresh links have emerged linking Arsenal to the England centre-back with the added detail that they have been long-term admirers of him.

Guehi, who football.london has previously reported could be available this summer with Tottenham and Chelsea also looking at him as a potential defensive recruitment. For the Gunners it could be as a shock replacement for Gabriel Magalhaes. The Brazilian is reportedly a serious target for the Saudi Pro League.

 

He missed out over the first weekend in a surprise choice from Arteta but may well be needed sooner rather than later after injury to Timber could see him out for the foreseeable future in north London. It opens up the possibility of a Gabriel exit and Guehi arrival but there’s still plenty to be done for this to become a reality.

 

 

Arsenal are aware of such interest and have also seen odds tumble with further links towards Manchester City defender Aymeric Laporte.

 

Gunners247 says: Just when things were looking calm at Arsenal. This is hardly the sort of news they need heading into the final two weeks of what has been a massively successful summer window.

Business was done quickly, relatively smoothly, and somewhat instinctively in places but early enough to bed players in before the season. Arteta’s squad was settled and this, along with the major Timber blow, has raised concerns that things may be about to take a nasty turn.

 

Timber had looked so good in his performances to this point and Gabriel was the go-to option next to William Saliba, outdoing him on the field at times last season. Now both realities are far from certain and the 2023/24 season has already started.

 

When it comes to a replacement there are few candidates as good as Guehi. He’s proven at this level, capable of getting even better, fits the age bracket for the squad and has leadership qualities that make him more than desirable. At this stage of the window he would be expensive but there’s a price on quality and Guehi is undoubted quality.

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