Why Arsenal have struck gold with the signing of Mat Ryan on loan
As Sky Sports confirmed, Arsenal have completed the signing of Mat Ryan on a six-month loan deal. Ryan had fallen out with Graham Potter and subsequently did not feature in the last few games for Brighton.
Arsenal, on the other hand, were on the lookout for a second choice keeper after the errors of Alex Runarsson. Ryan becomes the first signing for Arsenal in the January transfer window.
Arsenal needed a solid deputy for Bernd Leno
Bernd Leno has been the Gunners’ first-choice shot-stopper since his arrival. The German was a very important presence in goal for Arsenal until he was left on the sidelines due to a major injury last season. Second-choice goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez did well in Leno’s absence.
With Martinez departing for Aston Villa, Runar Alex Runarsson has stepped in as the second-choice this term. However, the youngster has been given limited chances and has somewhat fluffed his lines. Case in point being the Manchester City game in the Carabao Cup.
It seems like Runarsson still needs some more time to develop and a spell with the reserves or on loan would do him good. Adding another keeper seemed to be on Mikel Arteta’s agenda. (h/t Birmingham Mail).
Ryan can be a handy second choice goalkeeper
Ryan was Brighton’s go-to man between the posts for a long time and it surely did come as a surprise to him when he was told that Robert Sanchez would be given a run in the side. (h/t Daily Mail)
Standing at just over 6ft, Ryan is not particularly tall for a goalkeeper but he makes up for his relative lack of height with his intelligent positioning. A fast and agile presence between the sticks, the 28-year-old is well-built for a goalkeeper and uses his frame to guard the goal. His reflexes are pretty sharp and right up there with the best, as he has shown to the Premier League fans so far.
The Australian has impressed with his decision-making and his ability to handle crosses. While he often puts his body on the line to save shots from close range, he is not afraid to charge out of his area.
However, the most impressive thing about him is his passing and distribution with feet and hand. In fact, he can set up quick counter-attacks with his superior distribution skills.
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Even though it is a short-term loan deal, Arsenal are getting a very experienced shot-stopper. With FA Cup and Europa League knockouts still to go, Ryan might get his opportunity to showcase his talents sooner than later.