Mat Ryan thinks a conversation with Tim Cahill helped get him his childhood dream move to Arsenal in the January transfer window.
Mat Ryan joined Arsenal from Brighton on loan in the January transfer window, with the club planning to use him initially as a backup to Bernd Leno.
Ryan’s already made his debut in that role, after Leno’s suspension opened up a spot against Aston Villa. He himself admitted he didn’t expect to get out on the pitch for Arsenal in the Premier League so soon.
After his exclusion by Brighton towards the end of last year, the goalkeeper was happy at first just to have found a club that needed him. He told the Socceroos podcast that he put himself out there through former Australian teammate Tim Cahill.
“I actually made a phone call to Tim Cahill,” Ryan said (via Football.London). “Me with my ambition, I wanted to stay at the highest level at the top of the game.
“In my experiences, I’ve heard stories and seen myself how far just a little conversation between people can go.
“I just asked if he could listen out to see if there was anyone looking around for a goalkeeper and, if he thought I was worthy of mentioning, if he could bring me up as a potential target perhaps if someone was looking.
“I think he was probably the one who planted the seed in Mikel Arteta’s mind. Perhaps he went on and did his homework a little bit.”
Arteta and Cahill know each other well from their Everton days, and Arteta has already confirmed he spoke to his old teammate about Ryan before the signing, receiving “really positive feedback”.
You’d hope the signing was also based on analysis of what the goalkeeper can offer the club, but it makes sense to get personal references from the people who know them well.