Mat Ryan has revealed that Tim Cahill might have played an important role in helping him secure a move to Arsenal. He said this in an interview with the Socceroos podcast via football.london.
The Australian goalkeeper joined the Gunners from Brighton last month on a loan deal that will see him complete the season with the North London side. The 28-year-old was signed to provide competition to first-choice goalkeeper Bernd Leno.
The club signed Alex Runarsson last summer but he looks like he needs a loan spell and some regular game time before he can push for a place in the Arsenal first team.
Arteta and Edu did not foresee Emiliano Martinez’s departure last summer and did not have enough time to secure a suitable replacement. They were keen on addressing this issue in the January transfer window and managed to sign Ryan. The 28-year-old is an experienced shotstopper and has made 121 appearances in the Premier League.
The boyhood Arsenal fan has revealed that he reached out to Cahill for advice and asked him to keep an eye out for any Premier League side looking for a goalkeeper.
Ryan was determined to continue playing at the highest level and felt that a conversation with the former Australia international could significantly boost his chances of securing a move.
On his move to Arsenal, Ryan said:
“I actually made a phone call to Tim Cahill. Me with my ambition, I wanted to stay at the highest level at the top of the game. In my experiences I’ve heard stories and seen myself how far just a little conversation between people can go.”
“Knowing how respected he is in the game I just asked him if I had what it takes to be a Premier League goalkeeper playing at a top club.”
“I just asked if he could listen out to see if there was anyone looking around for a goalkeeper and, if he thought I was worthy of mentioning, if he could bring me up as a potential target perhaps if someone was looking.”
“I knew his close relationship with David Moyes who’s at West Ham now and who he was with at Everton. Obviously Mikel Arteta was his teammate and he’s doing his coaching badges up at Everton as well.”
“So I went out on a limb to see if anything could be sparked into action a little bit and he said leave it with me and see what comes up.”
Ryan admits that he thinks Cahill was the one who suggested his name to Arteta. He said:
“I think he was probably the one who planted the seed in Mikel Arteta’s mind. Perhaps he went on and did his homework a little bit.”
“I think they were looking to bring in someone in the goalkeeping department after losing (Emi) Martinez in the summer just before the window closed there.”
As Ryan mentioned, Cahill and Arteta played together for Everton and the Arsenal boss has admitted that his former teammate’s recommendation of the Australian goalkeeper had an impact on his decision to bring the 28-year-old to the Emirates. In a press conference, Arteta said:
“I did speak to him obviously because I always like to have information with players, with coaches that have spent time with them.”
“I got really positive feedback from Tim as well as other people. When you have reliable sources, you feel much more confident to make any decision.”