Mat Ryan has revealed how things went down with Arsenal over the summer, and why he ended up not re-joining the club.
One of the many positions Arsenal needed to fill in the summer was in goal, with Bernd Leno currently the only serious contender for Premier League starts.
The Gunners had addressed this issue from January to May using Mat Ryan, who joined on a loan deal from Brighton and Hove Albion. A popular figure in North London, there was some hope he might return permanently this summer.
Ryan says he had a conversation with Mikel Arteta where they discussed a potential permanent deal, and Arteta said he’d speak to technical director Edu about it.
“That was the last thing I heard,” Ryan said. “We just weren’t hearing anything, it was really silent and at a certain point I was getting some other interest.
“Arsenal is a special club, and if the option had been there to continue on, then yes I would have had to look at what that option would have looked like as a whole.
“It didn’t eventuate into a concrete opportunity after the loan spell and my decision was made for me. Our understanding was that they were looking for a homegrown goalkeeper from the conversations we had with them.”
In the end, Ryan moved to Spain with Real Sociedad. He’s already had to battle back from surgery on a knee cartilage injury, but he recently won a Man of the Match award as his new team stretch Real Madrid and Sevilla at the top of La Liga.
At the time of writing, Real Sociedad are top. But they’re just one point ahead of 2nd and 3rd, who both have a game in hand.