Mikel Arteta was clearly impressed with Mat Ryan on his Arsenal debut last weekend, despite the loss to Aston Villa, and believes the new signing will provide good competition for established goalkeeper Bernd Leno.
Ryan came on loan from Brighton in January to serve as Leno’s backup and was quickly given a shot in the Premier League.
The German inexplicably handled the ball out of the penalty area against Wolves and was shown a direct red card in the 2-1 loss, giving Ryan a chance to intervene against Villa last weekend.
He relented in the first five minutes, and the Gunners lost 1-0, but Arteta was impressed anyway, especially with the way he recovered from the initial setback.
Arsenal host Leeds United on Sunday in the Premier League and while Leno is expected to return in goal, the Gunners boss believes Ryan will provide genuine competition for Leno and could put pressure on him for gloves.
“I think Mat played a really good game, and for a first game he played for us after so little training I think he was really good,’ said Arteta.
“I really like the way he reacted because conceding that goal on your debut so early, and still reacting the way he did showed a lot of character from him.
“That is why we brought him here because he has to be an option and he has to keep pushing Bernd.’
Arteta’s team is eleventh in the table, one point and one place below Sunday’s opponents, so they can at least overtake the Yorkshire club with victory at the Emirates.