Former Arsenal goalkeeper Mat Ryan has signed for FC Copenhagen after a disappointing spell in Spain.
Former Arsenal goalkeeper, Mat Ryan, has signed for FC Copenhagen on a a two-year deal after injury helped derail his time in Spain. It is believed he cost around £420,000 with another £200,000 in add-ons.
Arsenal signed Ryan on loan and while there was initially some reports that the club would try and make that deal a permanent one, it never happened (you can read why below).
Just weeks after leaving Arsenal, Ryan suffered a knee cartilage injury that required surgery. After he returned to action, he was unable to dislodge Alex Remiro from the number one slot and made just nine appearances across the season.
Now, he will be hoping to get the minutes needed to keep him in good shape ahead of the World Cup this winter.
“We are getting an experienced and strong keeper in his prime, who arrives to take on the competition with our other goalkeepers,” said FCK sporting director Peter Christiansen.
“After Kamil Grabara’s injury, we have been looking for an addition to the goalkeeper position, and we are very satisfied with the solution, which both in the short and long term ensures increased competition and quality in that position.
“Maty has played many games in some of the world’s biggest leagues and still has plenty of hunger to do well at FCK and for Australia in the World Cup.
“We are looking forward to having him in the team and are sure that he will strengthen our squad.”
Ryan, meanwhile, said, “I’m really looking forward to becoming part of a big club like F.C. Copenhagen, which has a fantastic reputation throughout Europe.
“The team has great quality and the ambitions for the club are high in terms of winning titles and competing in the biggest tournaments in Europe. I will work hard to contribute to that.”
Head coach Jess Thorup added, “He’s a very talented goalkeeper who is coming to Copenhagen, and he will certainly increase the competition in that position,” says Thorup.
“His career in Europe has always been at a high level, and he is definitely a winner who sets the bar high for himself and his teammates.
“He is lightning fast, good with his feet and has plenty of experience, so we are looking forward to working with him.”
Mat Ryan has explained why he didn’t join Arsenal permanently, despite a positive meeting with Mikel Arteta before the end of his loan.
One of the many positions Arsenal needed to fill in the summer was in goal, with Bernd Leno the only serious contender for Premier League starts.
The Gunners had addressed that 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 in the summer.
Ryan had a conversation with Mikel Arteta about his spell with the club, but it didn’t lead to anything.
“I had a sit-down with Arteta at the end of the season,” Ryan recalled.
“It was all very positive. He said I’d exceeded everyone’s expectations and I gave him quite a lot of headaches in selection.
“His comment to me was, ‘I’m going to speak to the club about trying to sign you permanently.’
“Over the summer, we were waiting. The club never contacted us directly, then it got to the point where I had another offer (from Sociedad).
“We went back to Arsenal and they just said I wasn’t No 1 on their list. It was being documented that they were looking for a UK-based (homegrown) goalkeeper to fill the spot.
“It was pretty apparent they were looking for that, then (Aaron) Ramsdale signed before the end of the window.”
In the end, Ryan moved to Spain with Real Sociedad. He’s already had to battle back from surgery on a knee cartilage injury, which hurt his chances of nailing down their starting goalkeeper spot early on.
But the 29-year-old is still first choice for Australia, and he got to play a couple of games for Real Sociedad in the Europa League knockouts last month.
In all competitions, he’s made nine club appearances this season. He’ll be hoping for more in the buildup to the World Cup this winter.