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Arsenal conditions to grant David Raya’s shirt number request after striking deal for transfer

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It could be a matter of time before Arsenal make a double transfer announcement.

After reaching an agreement with Nottingham Forest in a deal worth up to £10million for Matt Turner, the Gunners have already identified a replacement for the USMNT goalkeeper having also agreed a deal with Brentford for the signing of Spain international David Raya.

As per Premier League rules both players will be available for selection for their respective new clubs when Arsenal welcome Forest to the Emirates Stadium in their first game of the new season – but only on the condition that they are registered by 12 noon on Friday (August 11).

 

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Should both deals go through, naturally there will be a large number of Gunners supporters looking forward to seeing Raya being officially unveiled and begin the task – set out by manager Mikel Arteta – of providing competition for Aaron Ramsdale for the No.1 spot.

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“The competition always exists whoever it is,” the Spaniard said after Sunday’s Community Shield win over Manchester City in relation to questions over what signing Raya would mean for Ramsdale’s position in the starting XI as the season unfolds. “That’s how it has to feel like.

 

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“It has to feel like this and if it doesn’t feel like this we’re not gonna get the best out of each player. So we’d better feel like this and make sure we all feel like this. Me first.”

So whilst Raya’s role if he does join Arsenal is crystal clear, what squad number could he take at the Emirates Stadium? Well, he could just take No.30 which will become vacant once Turner completes his move to Forest, but it would appear that the 27-year-old has a few favoured options.

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However, it’s extremely unlikely that he will keep wearing No.1 as he has done for Brentford over the past four seasons as the holder of that particular shirt number in N5 is Ramsdale who has only had it for one season after making the change last summer once Bernd Leno had joined Fulham.

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Raya broke into the Blackburn Rovers first-team picture wearing No.33 but to get that at Arsenal he would require Arthur Okonkwo to vacate it and the same conditions apply to the No.13 – which if No.1 is unavailable is widely regarded as the perfect squad number for a goalkeeper – which is currently in the possession of Runar Alex Runarsson.

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Now, football.londonunderstands the Gunners are open to allowing both goalkeepers to leave before the summer transfer window closes but if they’re still at the club if or when Raya arrives then the shirt number decision will be interesting as Premier League rules state: ‘A Player will retain his shirt number throughout the Season for which it was allocated’.

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