Arsenal have signed goalkeeper Mat Ryan on loan from Brighton for the rest of the season.
The Gunners were keen on signing a shotstopper in the January transfer window as they felt they were light in that department especially after the departure of Matt Macey to Scottish side Hibernian.
Manager Mikel Arteta made it clear earlier this month that the club had plans to strengthen this area of the squad in the summer transfer window but were unable to after the surprise exit of Emiliano Martinez and so decided to address this position this month.
Ryan played for Brighton for three and a half years after signing for the Seagulls in the summer of 2017. He made 123 appearances for them in all competitions and is an experienced Premier League goalkeeper. He will provide competition and backup to Arsenal’s first choice goalkeeper, Bernd Leno, and summer signing Alex Runarsson.
Runarsson has made a few appearances for the Gunners in the Europa League and Carabao Cup but has looked shaky. Ryan’s arrival at the club will provide fans with the confidence that if required, the North London side will be able to call upon a dependable, experienced goalkeeper.
On Ryan’s arrival, technical director Edu Gaspar said:
“Mat is an experienced goalkeeper, a proven talent in the Premier League and has also played many internationals for Australia. Mat will further strengthen our squad with his experience and knowledge of playing at the highest level.”
“Following Matt Macey’s recent move to Hibernian, Mat will provide very good competition and positive support to all our goalkeepers and we are looking forward to him integrating quickly into the set-up here at Arsenal.”
“We know Mat very well through his performances with Brighton in recent seasons and he brings additional quality to our squad. Mat has very good Premier League experience and has played over 100 times in the league, which is something that will benefit us greatly on and off the pitch. We welcome Mat to Arsenal and look forward to working with him this season.”
The 28-year-old was born in Sydney and played for Blacktown City and Central Coast Mariners in Australia between 2009 and 2013. He then moved to Europe and made over 100 appearances for Belgian club Club Brugge before joining Valencia in 2015. He spent two seasons in Spain during which time he had a loan spell with Genk.
He has made 59 appearances for the Australian national team and has represented his country at the 2014 and 2018 FIFA World Cups as well as the 2015 and 2019 Asia Cups. He won the Best Goalkeeper award at the 2015 Asia Cup.
Ryan will wear the number 33 shirt at Arsenal.
The Australian goalkeeper is a boyhood Arsenal fan and is thrilled to be joining the club. He said:
“There’s still an aura of surrealness to it all, to be honest. I’m really proud, it’s great and it’s hard to sort of put into words the emotions and feeling that this is becoming a reality.”
“All those mornings as a young kid in Australia, getting up to watch the Champions League games and all that at four o’clock in the morning when I had school and these types of things. The support back in the Thierry Henry and Dennis Bergkamp days, all these sorts of things, to now be here fills me with a great sense of pride and achievement.”
“I’m just looking to do the best that I can for the club and represent the club in the best possible way and ultimately help the club to achieve more success.”
“I’ve never been a goalkeeper where I’ve liked to sit on the bench. I’m sure every goalkeeper says that, but I’ve come here under the circumstances where Bernd has obviously done a great job for the club in his time since he’s arrived and he’s a very top-quality goalkeeper.”
“But I believe also that I’ve shown that in my career until now also and I’m looking to come in here and push him and him push me. Like I said, we’ll try to get the best out of one another and to improve as individuals.”
“If we can do that, then who’s going to be getting the nod on matchday with the number of games that we have in all the competitions that we’re still alive in? It’s going to be who’s in the best form and that’s only going to help the team to perform better and to get better results hopefully.”
“So I’m very eager and keen to be here and get to work and start creating some nice memories through being successful.”