Mikel Arteta has already hinted at David Raya and Aaron Ramsdale decision amid Arsenal warning


Arsenal travel to France to face RC Lens in the UEFA Champions League on Tuesday evening looking to continue their 100% start to the competition. And as has been the case since David Raya arrived, eyes will be on which goalkeeper Mikel Arteta starts.

The Gunners signed the Spain international on an initial season-long loan from Brentford in the summer, providing competition for Aaron Ramsdale. Matt Turner was second-choice last season but the USMNT star was limited to only seven appearances - all coming in the Europa League and FA Cup.

Since Raya arrived, he has replaced Ramsdale as the north Londoners' No.1 with starts in four of the last five games. The 28-year-old kept clean sheets against Everton, PSV Eindhoven and AFC Bournemouth, but was rested in the Carabao Cup win against his former side Brentford last week.

Arteta has done his best to insist that he simply wants "two quality players in each position". However, the Gunners' boss preference of Raya has left Ramsdale's future at the Emirates Stadium in doubt.

Chelsea are one of the several clubs in Europe said to be monitoring his situation with Bayern Munich also looking for a long-term successor to Manuel Neuer. This week's trip to the Estadio Bollaert-Delelis will present another dilemma for Arteta. Should he opt for Raya once again, it will only add fuel to the fire regarding Ramsdale's future.

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Ironically, Chelsea boss Mauricio Pochettino has insisted that the use of two first-choice goalkeepers can be dangerous. "I think it's very important to have good players in every position, to have that competition for places," he said, as quoted by Goal. "When I was in Paris, I had two big top keepers, [Gianluigi] Donnarumma and [Keylor] Navas.

"It depends on their profile and characteristics, professional and personal. What I prefer is to have the best players and the players that can be compatible between themselves. In Paris, we would play Donnarumma for two games and Navas for two games.

"It's possible, but it's dangerous. It's always good for every single club to define who is your No.1, but in football, the decision is the decision but sometimes coaches want to improve and have different profiles in the squad. Then it is who is not going to play accepts being No.2."

And Arteta's decision may already be made. In Arsenal's 4-0 win over PSV in their first Champions League game since 2017, Raya started after only making his debut for the club three days earlier at Everton.

With qualification not secured, it's incredibly unlikely that Arteta will rotate his side as he did at the Gtech Community Stadium last week, meaning Raya is expected to retain his spot.

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