‘Ryan is a solid replacement for Martinez at Arsenal’ – Keown welcomes addition of proven goalkeeper

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Mat Ryan Brighton 2020-21
The Gunners have bolstered their ranks by tying up a loan deal that will see the Australia international link up with them from Brighton

Mat Ryan is a shrewd addition for Arsenal says Martin Keown, who says the Gunners have found a suitable replacement for Emi Martinez.

Eyebrows were raised at Emirates Stadium during the summer of 2020 when the Argentine goalkeeper was allowed to leave.

Martinez made it clear that he was not prepared to fill back-up duties behind Bernd Leno, having proven his worth towards the end of their FA Cup-winning campaign.

Big money was brought in with a £20 million ($27m) deal with Aston Villa, but Arsenal were left short in an important area.

Runar Runarsson was acquired to try and plug that gap, but the Iceland international has looked shaky in his five appearances.

Mikel Arteta made the acquisition of another proven performer a top priority for the winter window, and he has now got his man in Australia international Ryan.

The 28-year-old boyhood Arsenal fan has arrived in north London on a short-term loan agreement, and Keown thinks it is a move that benefits all concerned.

The former Gunners defender has told talkSPORT: “Runarsson didn’t really capture the eye as expected, in the League Cup there were a few mistakes.

“I was disappointed to see Martinez leave in the first place when you consider he climbed a mountain last year to get in the first team, but I imagine they couldn’t afford to keep two first-string goalkeepers financially, maybe they didn’t see that as the right way forward. He was allowed to leave.

“So this is a good adjustment, Mat Ryan coming in - 59 caps for Australia, he’s their No1 goalkeeper, he’s been out of the team at Brighton. He’s coming with good experience and that’s what Arsenal need in the event that Leno gets injured at any point.”

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An untimely knock suffered by Leno handed Martinez his big break last season, as he stepped in to operate between the sticks in the FA Cup and Community Shield triumphs.

However the Germany international shot-stopper has been the go-to man for Arteta again in 2020-21 as Arsenal seek to make their way up the Premier League table.

Ryan is available to go straight into Arsenal's squad for their FA Cup fourth round tie at Southampton tomorrow lunchtime.