• Dan Tracey


Mat Ryan Footballer

It seems as if the pace of change at Arsenal is starting to accelerate further and after the recent departure of Sokratis added to their growing list of exiles, there has now been a route of trade in the other direction.

That’s because Mikel Arteta has identified the goalkeeping department, as one that needs reinforcing and with Matt Macey being moved onto Scottish side Hibernian, it meant the Spaniard was one short in this position.

The 6ft 7in Macey, joined the Edinburgh outfit earlier this month and with his departure, Arteta could only call upon two senior shot stoppers, an issue that he has now addressed with the Gunners’ latest arrival.

An arrival, that comes in the shape of Mat Ryan and although he will likely swap the AMEX bench for the Emirates one, the signing of the Australian international could be construed as a rather shrewd piece of business.

With Ryan changing Premier League employers until the end of the season, his loan move will see him installed as backup to Bernd Leno and this means, that the Icelandic international Runar Alex Runarsson will be moved down the pecking order.

An act that has come about, after a poor performance in Arsenal’s Carabao Cup exit to Manchester City and with Runarsson guilty of dropping an effort into the net, it was an obvious source of anguish for his head coach.

To the point, where he is no longer the trusted deputy, as that role will be suitably filled by the 28-year-old Ryan and although he had recently lost his place in the Brighton goal to Robert Sanchez, he will still have a lot to offer going forward.

Especially, if Arsenal are to go forward in the cup competitions and with them preparing for a 4th Round tie in the F.A. Cup this weekend, the Australian may be trusted in taking some eventual steps on the Road to Wembley.

Whether those steps come about this weekend, remain to be seen and one must not forget, that the North London outfit are also in the last 32 of the Europa League, as the competition returns to action in February.

Which could also give the former Valencia and Racing Genk player another taste of European action, as he represented the latter in the 2016/17 edition of the Europa League and it is perhaps this previous experience, which has made him so appealing to Mikel Arteta.

Ultimately any backup goalkeeper should be ready when called upon and although Ryan will be kicking his heels in North London often, it does remove the uncertainty for when Arsenal’s current number one is rested or otherwise unavailable.

It may not be the biggest piece of transfer news this January, (then again, the window has been an incredibly slow one) as other deals are still to be done, but it might turn out to be one of the most prudent and it could help Arsenal edge closer towards more silverware come the end of the season.