Mathew Ryan admitted to the Evening Standard that he didn’t think he was going to get a sniff at Premier League football when he signed for Arsenal.
The Australian ‘keeper joined on a season-long loan from Brighton & Hove Albion in the latest transfer window as back up to Bernd Leno.
Mathew Ryan’s unexpected chance
However, Ryan’s Arsenal debut came a lot sooner than anyone expected following Leno’s one-match ban for a straight red card received away at Wolverhampton Wanderers.
Mikel Arteta decided to throw his new recruit straight into the action against Aston Villa last weekend.
Although the Gunners lost 1-0, Ryan believed he did a decent job in place of the club’s No 1.
“It is always nice to play a role out there and it was nice to make a few saves, but it is always better when I can affect the result and unfortunately, I wasn’t able to today,” said the 28-year-old.
“Whatever life and football throws at you, you’ve got to keep rolling up your sleeves and getting on with it and not giving into it.
“Coming here, being honest, I probably didn’t think I was going to get a Premier League game, so it’s a bonus.
“I was happy to put in, I think, on the initial perception of it, a good performance. I’ve come here now, and I will continue to work with Bernd and Alex (Runarsson) and the other goalkeepers in the team.”
Arsenal certainly didn’t acquire a novice when gaining Ryan’s services. He made over 100 top-flight appearances for Brighton across a four-year spell.
He has also been capped 59 times for the Australian national side, including all three of the Socceroos’ group games at the 2018 World Cup.
Leno will likely return this Sunday as Arsenal host Leeds United at the Emirates, followed by a tough away trip in the Europa League against Benfica.
With Arsenal now out of the FA Cup and desperately attempting to challenge for a Champions League place, Mathew Ryan may find his time in the spotlight has passed.
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