Mikel Arteta has handed David Raya his Arsenal debut for Sunday’s Premier League clash against Everton.
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Aaron Ramsdale had started the Gunners previous four matches this season and done little wrong to suggest he was in danger of losing his place.
Raya joined the north London club, initially on loan, from Brentford during the final week of the summer transfer window and has been forced to sit on the substitutes’ bench for the victories over Crystal Palace and Manchester United, as well as the draw against Fulham.
‘I think I mentioned it that we wanted to build a squad with two quality players in each position, with different characteristics, and we have got that now,’ said Arteta, explaining his decision before the match.
‘And to maximise that they have to play games, and we have a lot of things coming up now.
‘And we have the same with other players we have rotated and there will be a lot of game-time in the next few weeks.’
The Spain international’s inclusion at the expense of Ramsdale was far from the only significant decision made by Arteta as he attempted to select a team capable of winning at Goodison Park for the first time since 2018.
Summer signing Kai Havertz, who has made an underwhelming start to his Arsenal career, was relegated to the bench with Fabio Vieira handed a rare starting opportunity.
Gabriel Jesus, meanwhile, who scored the third goal in the chaotic win over United prior to the international break, was also named among the replacements following his involvement with Brazil.
Eddie Nketiah led the line from the start after he wasn’t used at all by Gareth Southgate against Ukraine or Scotland having been called up to the senior squad for the first time.
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