Brentford have signed 23 year old goalkeeper David Raya Martin from Blackburn Rovers for a reputed fee of £3m plus add ons.
Raya joined Rovers in 2012 following a youth career with UE Cornella in his native Barcelona.
The Spaniard missed just one league match as Rovers stormed to promotion from League One with – keeping 17 clean sheets in the process. Last season, he made 41 league appearances in the Championship for Tony Mowbray’s side – keeping ten clean sheets. That brought his appearances up to 108 appearances during his time in Lancashire.
Raya – who signed a 4 year contract – replaces Dan Bentley who was entering the final year of his contract. They cost similar fees. He is two years younger than Bentley. And is very highly regarded technically excellent keeper.
Yes he is not perfect – as Oscar from Talk of Ewood details below – but there’s an argument to say he wouldn’t be with Brentford if he was the finished article. And we think it is no co-incidence that he is set to work with fellow Spaniard – goalkeeping coach Iñaki Cana – who we believe rates him very highly.
Billy Grant spoke to Oscar from Talk of Ewood (@TalkOfEwood) who gave us his lowdown on David Raya.
Tell us a little about Raya
He came from Barcelona and at the age of 16, flew to England to join up with the Rovers academy. Always well thought of within the camp, he gained real attention whilst on loan at Southport during their FA Cup run of 2014/15 – most notably for his man-of-the match performance against Derby County in the 3rd round.
He’s now got over 100 career appearances for Rovers as well as a League One Player of the Year gong in 2017/18.
What type of keeper is Raya
David is very much the ‘modern goalkeeper’. He is very athletic and his reactions are sensationally quick. However, he is not a dominant keeper and I believe that may be the main reason why Mowbray is not a fan. That is something you will have to work on in training.
— Talk Of Ewood (@TalkOfEwood) July 6, 2019
What are Raya’s strengths
David’s main strength is shot stopping. I’d go as far as saying he is the best shot stopper in the Championship. His reaction saves are incredible.
What are Raya’s weaknesses
For me David lacks presence. Physically and vocally, he’s not as dominant as he could be.
Can you think of one or two of Raya’s outstanding saves?
There have been a few. It’s like he makes a world class save every week but at the same time also makes a howler every other week.
Fleetwood away and Charlton at home – both very similar situations. David parried a long range effort but it then landed straight in the path of an opposition striker. However, he somehow leapt up and saved the follow-up from yards out.
The home win against Brentford was a good performance too. He pulled off one or two very good saves and we scraped a 1-0 win. He’s done that on many occasions.
Can you think of one or two of Raya’s bloopers?
I don’t seem to remember many bloopers even though I know for sure he has many. Probably because I try erase them from my mind🤣
His error at Brentford away cost us at a crucial time too. We were like five or six wins on the run and pushing for the play offs. That kick-started a shocking run of form.
There was also another. I can’t remember what exact team it was. I think it could have been Oldham. They stuck two big lads on him from set pieces. I couldn’t see him all game.
He’s learning, though.
Did you feel you get a fair deal for him?
I’d have loved him to stay – him being an academy product and all that. With players you bring through the ranks, you just seem to have a different connection with them. Especially as he’s been a key part of the resurrection of the club.
However I can completely understand Mowbray’s thinking. Mark my words, David Raya will be a top goalkeeper for you.
If anything, I’d have liked to have thought we would have got more than the proposed £3m. Especially in add ons or something in the current market.
Do you see him in fitting in to Brentford?
Now, this makes sense in my mind but it may not in other folk. Brentford seem a prettier side than Rovers. We play nice football, but we seem to be heading to the more ‘winner’ personalities within the camp. Hence the recent signing of Bradley Johnson. And the comments from the gaffer saying he wants a centre half that would tackle his Gran!
Raya is less braun and more thought which seems to fit the Brentford style more in my mind – even though there’s little explanation for that.
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