Out of favour Brighton & and Hove Albion goalkeeper Matt Ryan joins Arsenal on loan until the end of the season. To be honest, we were all feeling nervous at the prospect of an injury to Bernd Leno after the horrendous showing of Runar Alex Runarsson against Manchester City in the quarter final of the Carabao Cup.
Without the skills and physicality of Emi Martinez, Arsenal were light in experience and options. The priority for Mikel Arteta had suddenly become threefold with the need for a creative midfielder, left-back but at the top of the list was a keeper.
In a move that no one could have predicted, Arsenal snapped up Matt Ryan (28) from Brighton until the end of the season. It made perfect sense to either get an emerging GK or someone established and experienced. It was also tricky to find one that wouldn’t constantly object to rotation or being the second choice.
As Jay and I discussed in a recent podcast, the keeper position had quickly become a concern, but it was also a case of finding quality cover that was Premier League ready and that could bide his time with Leno as the first choice. Ben Foster was a good shout by Jay because of his age and experience in the Premier League but this appointment is quite exciting.
What sort of keeper is Matt Ryan? He is a commanding and assertive keeper who gets down quickly and has great reflexes. I seem to recall a save from the feet of one Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (2018/19) and if you can save shots from a striker of that class, then you are made of the right stuff.
He’s agile with great positional awareness and has a reputation for his acrobatics from free-kicks. He would appear to be the ideal cover for Leno in both the long and short term and I’m sure the player and club will push for a permanent move in the summer.
Ryan admitted to being an Arsenal fan as a youngster and that the move was a “dream come true”. No doubt the fans will be relieved by this appointment at the business end of the season. Arsenal can’t afford to have an area of concern in such a key area, but spare a thought for Runarsson. Let’s hope that this doesn’t impact his career in the future and that he eventually comes good.