Mat Ryan spent the second half of last season on loan at Arsenal after he had been ousted as the first choice goalie at Brighton.
The boyhood Gunner didn’t expect that he would be in that position as he had been one of the best goalkeepers in the Premier League in prior seasons.
However, his time at Brighton was up, as Robert Sanchez had become Graham Potter’s first choice at the Amex.
Arsenal needed a good backup goalkeeper at the time, as they had lost Emi Martinez to Aston Villa.
He came in handy for Arsenal when Bernd Leno was suspended and unavailable for a few matches.
He didn’t exactly play many games for Arsenal, but in a recent interview, the Real Sociedad goalie said the move to the Emirates helped him with his confidence.
He told The Daily Mail: ‘Once I joined Arsenal I felt a lot of stress and pressure off my shoulders from how it finished at Brighton. When I got there I said to myself ”I am just going to go out there and enjoy myself, what have I got to lose?”
‘I had self belief before I arrived, but from my time at Arsenal it grew to a new level. Not in an arrogant way, but in a way that made me realise if I don’t believe I can go out there and be triumphant at this level, then you are already falling at the first hurdle. It is one thing when you are playing for Brighton and you are playing against some of the best players the world has to offer every weekend.
‘But when I was mixing it day in day out with some of these guys at Arsenal who have played at the pinnacle of the game, and I am being successful and really enjoying the competition against them in training, I turned to look at myself and said ”I’m not half bad either”.
Ryan was also linked with a permanent move to the Emirates in the last transfer window.
However, Arsenal moved for Aaron Ramsdale instead and the Englishman has proven to be one of the best acquisitions by any club this season.