David Raya says Aaron Ramsdale must “fight for the team” if he returns to the Arsenal side after displacing his rival for the No 1 shirt.
Ramsdale’s run of starting every Premier League game since March 2022 was abruptly ended on Sunday when he was replaced by Raya for Arsenal’s 1-0 win at Everton.
Raya, who was signed on loan from Brentford this summer, retained his place for Arsenal’s first Champions League game since 2017 as the Gunners thrashed PSV 4-0 on Wednesday.
Asked about Mikel Arteta’s decision to promote him to the starting XI, Raya said: “That’s his choice, it’s not my choice.
“If Aaron comes back in he needs to fight for the team and to win games.
“I think it’s the first time that two top goalies are on the same team. That’s just part of football now.
“The gaffer wants two top players for each position and that’s what we have to work with.”
Raya said he has been given no guarantees over starting Arsenal’s next game – the north London derby at home to Tottenham on Sunday, live on Sky Sports.
“I played the last two games and I don’t know what’s going to happen on Sunday,” he said.
Arteta: I regret not subbing ‘keepers in games
When explaining his reasoning for dropping Ramsdale after the win at Everton, Arteta said he treated the goalkeeping position as any other – even to the point where he has considered changing goalkeepers midway through games.
“It’s the same rationale as to why Fabio (Vieira) and Gabby [Jesus] played,” he said. “I haven’t had a single question about why Gabriel hasn’t been starting. He has won more trophies than anybody else in that dressing room, including me.
“I want Aaron to react the same as Gabriel Jesus. The same as Kai Havertz, as Takehiro Tomiyasu. Exactly the same. We play with 11 players, not 10 plus one.
“I’m a really young manager – I’ve been in the job three and a half years. I have few regrets but one of them is that on two occasions, I felt after 60 minutes and 85 minutes of two games in this period to change the goalkeeper in that moment.
“I didn’t do it. I didn’t have the courage to do it. But I’m able to take a winger or striker and put a centre-back on to play a back five to hold on to a result. We drew those games and I was so unhappy.
“Someone is going to do it and maybe that’s strange. But why not? Tell me why not. You have all the qualities in another goalkeeper to do something. You want to change the momentum. Do it.
“It’s a regret that I have. Now my feeling is to get everybody engaged, that they have to play regardless of the competition. That’s my message.
“We adapt to our qualities that our players have and try to play to their strengths. There are games to do certain things, games to do other things.
“In my opinion it was really important against Everton, and it was really important to benefit the team.”