Mat Ryan has been impressed with the step up in quality joining Arsenal, and he believes it’s helping him grow as a goalkeeper.
Mat Ryan joined Arsenal from Brighton on loan in January, and he hasn’t hidden the fact that he considers this to be a step up in his career. He already had to apologise to his parent club’s supporters for some comments he made immediately after the move.
Speaking this week, Ryan was more tactful in his assessment of Brighton but continued to insist that Arsenal are on another level.
“All due respect to Brighton, they’re a great club with great facilities and have some great players and I enjoyed the setup and competitiveness also as well,” Ryan said.
“But, as you touched on, there’s the magnitude of the clubs. The budget and resources that a club like Arsenal has and the players and quality of players it can attract, and it’s no more evident than on the training pitch.
“Some of the individual qualities that are out there are like nothing I’ve ever seen before.
“I think I’ve improved in that aspect, being day-in-day-out with these players, witnessing what they’re doing, the speed at which they’re doing things, the demands of one another.
“They’ve all been little lessons in my time here that I feel have helped me grow as a goalkeeper and believe in myself even more.”
In fairness to Ryan, it certainly does seems as though his performances have gone up a level since joining Arsenal. Though he’s only played three games, he’s hardly put a foot wrong, and his header against Fulham certainly endeared him to the fans.
When Ryan joined, there was some talk about his xGA underperformance in the first half of the season with Brighton. But his three games at Arsenal have flipped that on its head, and he’s overperforming in those same stats with the Gunners.
Whether he can keep that up if he starts in bigger games in future is another matter. For the time being, he can only perform against the teams he’s facing.