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Gunners sign Brighton goalkeeper Mat Ryan on loan

Boyhood Arsenal fan Ryan 'really proud' to join club; is Real Madrid midfielder Martin Odegaard also heading to the Emirates?

22 January, 2021 — By Steve Barnett

ARSENAL have snapped up Brighton goalkeeper Mat Ryan on loan until the end of the season.

The 28-year-old Australian international had fallen out of favour at the Seagulls, losing his place in the starting line-up to Spanish goalkeeper Robert Sanchez.

Ryan started 11 of Brighton’s first 12 matches in the Premier League this season, but has been left out of their matchday squad since mid-December.

A boyhood Arsenal fan, Ryan couldn’t hide his delight after making the switch to north London. “There’s still an aura of surrealness to it all, to be honest,” he told the club’s official website.

“I’m really proud. It’s great and it’s hard to put into words the emotions and feeling that this is becoming a reality.

“All those mornings as a young kid in Australia, getting up to watch the Champions League games at four o’clock in the morning when I had school, and these types of things.

“The support back in the Thierry Henry and Dennis Bergkamp days, all these sorts of things, to now be here fills me with a great sense of pride and achievement.

“I’m just looking to do the best that I can for the club and represent the club in the best possible way, and ultimately help the club to achieve more success.”

Ryan will wear the number 33 shirt at Arsenal, competing with Bernd Leno and Alex Runarsson for the starting spot. His arrival comes after third-choice keeper Matt Macey moved to Hibernian on a loan deal earlier this month.

Welcoming his new signing Gunners boss Mikel Arteta said: “We know Mat very well through his performances with Brighton in recent seasons and he brings additional quality to our squad.

“Mat has very good Premier League experience and has played over 100 times in the league, which is something that will benefit us greatly on and off the pitch.”

Arteta is also closing in on a second signing, with news that Arsenal are in advanced negotiations to bring Real Madrid midfielder Martin Odegaard to the Emirates on loan.

Odegaard has made it clear he wants to leave Madrid this month in search of regular first-team football, having played just nine times in all competitions for Los Blancos this season.

Although an agreement is yet to be reached talks with Arsenal are progressing well, and the 22-year-old Norway international could be unveiled as early as Monday.

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