David Raya wins Golden Glove award to vindicate Arsenal transfer decision

David Raya wins Golden Glove award to vindicate Arsenal transfer decision

David Raya has won the Premier League’s Golden Glove award in his first season at Arsenal.

The Spaniard sealed the honour with two games still to play this term after keeping his 15th clean sheet of the campaign as Mikel Arteta’s leaders beat Bournemouth 3-0 on Saturday to open up a four-point gap at the top of the table before Manchester City host Wolves in the evening kick-off.

While it has not been a completely pristine campaign for Raya, he has firmly cemented his place as Arsenal’s undisputed first-choice goalkeeper since joining on a £3million season-long loan deal from London rivals Brentford in August.

The Gunners possess the option to sign him on a permanent basis in the summer for a fee of around £27m, an option they are widely expected to exercise despite Arteta refusing to confirm as much during his pre-Bournemouth press conference on Friday.

Nevertheless, Raya’s Golden Glove award will no doubt feel like full vindication for the Arsenal boss, who received no shortage of questioning and plenty of criticism after deciding to replace England’s Aaron Ramsdale as his No1 option last summer.

“I’m really pleased,” Arteta said of Raya winning the Golden Glove, which had been held by former Manchester United stalwart David De Gea.

“It’s a huge success for the team, in this league to achieve that with a few games to go still, with the numbers we are producing.

“It gives us a huge foundation, to be closer to winning titles and winning trophies. The contribution of everybody, including David obviously, is really good.”

Raya had already been guaranteed at least a share of this season’s Golden Glove award ahead of facing Bournemouth, but his latest clean sheet saw him take the prize outright as his closest rival in Jordan Pickford (12) can no longer hope to match his tally in the remaining fixtures after Everton drew 1-1 with Luton on Friday night.

The 28-year-old is the third Arsenal goalie to win the award in the Premier League, after Petr Cech in 2015/16 and Wojciech Szczesny, who shared it with Chelsea’s Cech in 2013/14.