Arsenal visit Gtech Community Stadium on Wednesday to face Brentford in the third round of the Carabao Cup, and the Bees manager Thomas Frank is looking forward to reuniting with David Raya.
The Spain international goalkeeper joined the Gunners on a season-long loan from Brentford in the summer and has recently established himself as the number 1, starting the last three games ahead of Aaron Ramsdale.
Arsenal are expected to activate their option to buy the 28-year-old permanently at the end of the season following his brilliant start, and Frank has admitted he is not surprised at the impact Raya has made within such a short while.
“I think he is a fantastic keeper,” the Bees manager said ahead of tomorrow’s London derby.
“I’m so pleased that he’s been playing the last three games and I think he’s done very well, and it didn’t surprise me. I think he is a top keeper.”
Ramsdale is expected to return to the starting XI tomorrow, with Raya likely to be back in goal when Arsenal return to Premier League action on Saturday against Bournemouth.
He has kept two clean sheets in the three appearances he has made for the Gunners and will be confident of retaining his starting berth going forward.
The Brentford game was earlier predicted in many quarters as his likeliest debut for Arsenal, but Raya has wasted no time hitting the ground at his new club and making the position his.
Ramsdale will have to make do with cup appearances going forward as it is hard to see him forcing his way back into the starting line-up.
Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta insists there is no permanent starter yet and has suggested he could substitute his goalies during games, and it will be interesting to see whether that happens anytime soon.