Arteta unsure on Ryan future after loan but pleased to have keeper at Arsenal

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Mat Ryan Brighton 2020-21Getty

Mikel Arteta is reluctant to speculate on Mat Ryan’s future at Arsenal beyond his initial loan spell, with the Australian goalkeeper still tied to a contract at Brighton.

The Gunners made the addition of another shot-stopper a top priority for the January transfer window.

Ryan, who has three seasons of Premier League experience with Brighton, will see out the 2020-21 campaign in north London.

The boyhood Arsenal supporter is delighted to have earned the switch, but it remains to be seen what role he will play at Emirates Stadium.

Bernd Leno is the Gunners’ No 1 between the sticks, meaning competitive game time may be limited over the remaining weeks of the season.

An extended stay would give Ryan more of a chance to fight for minutes, but Arteta is giving little away with it comes to his long-term plans.

The Spaniard told reporters when quizzed on his latest addition ahead of the trip to Southampton on Tuesday: “He is a player who knows the league really well.

“He has played so many games, he has international experience, he is at the right age, he has been competing regularly until December I think, and we felt with the departure of Matt Macey, we needed another keeper in the team to give more protection so we looked at the market and we wanted a loan deal and we decided to go with Mat because he had the right profile for us.

“That area of the squad needs three goalkeepers and they need to compete with each other, challenge each other and everyone will get their role.

“After you have your role, you just have to support each other again to get the best out of each other. This is the role, come here and try to make it better.”

Quizzed on whether Ryan could stay on beyond the summer, Arteta added: “I don’t know, he’s just arrived. It’s a loan deal and he still has a contract with Brighton and we will assess to see how he performs, see how he adapts, what we need in the future. It’s still too early to decide.”

Ryan, who was signed by Brighton in 2017, has made 123 appearances for the Seagulls with all but two of those coming in the English top-flight.