Mikel Arteta was posed with a brilliant question regarding one of Arsenal’s January signings in the pre-match press conference ahead of the Aston Villa tie this weekend, offering up a brutally honest reply.
Arteta was questioned on whether he’d feel ‘sorry’ for new recruit Mat Ryan, who joined on loan from Brighton last month, in regards to the fact that he could miss his ‘limited chance’ to play due to injury.
At the time of the press conference, Ryan – an Arsenal fan handed a dream opportunity by the Gunners – has been unable to train so far, meaning he may well be unavailable to fill in for Bernd Leno.
Leno is suspended after receiving a reckless red card in the Gunners’ defeat to Wolves on Tuesday night, something that earned him some vicious trolling from the Wanderers that maybe crossed the line.
Ryan has netted the chance to represent his beloved club after losing the No.1 spot at Brighton to Robert Sanchez, but could miss the chance to feature at the perfect time due to injury trouble.
When Arteta was asked whether he’d feel ‘sorry’ for Ryan if fitness issues cost him the chance to feature for the club he supports, the Spaniard responded with the brutally honest ‘this is football’.
Mikel Arteta kept it 100 when questioned on how ‘gutting’ it would be if Arsenal fan Mat Ryan misses out on chances to feature for the Gunners due to injury troubles… pic.twitter.com/LOQCCXz5HE
— CaughtOffside (@caughtoffside) February 4, 2021
“This is football and these things happen. That’s why when we allowed Matt Macey to go, we knew that we had to get somebody else because these things can happen.”
“Unfortunately when you least need them, it actually happens. So we are more protected now, having Matty as well in the squad and let’s see if he’s fit. But for now, Alex is fit as well.”
It would be a real shame, from a neutral perspective as well as an Arsenal one, if the Australian star doesn’t get the chance to play for the Gunners.
Ryan has been recruited as a respectfully more skilled second-choice keeper to summer signing Runar Alex Runarsson, who has been replaced by the 28-year-old in the club’s Europa League squad.
The Gunners already needed another stopper regardless after Matt Macey was handed a pay-off to cut his contract short and seal an exit to Scottish side Hibernian.
Ryan was one of two January recruits for Arsenal, the other being Martin Odegaard, who joins Dani Ceballos as a loanee from Real Madrid.