Football News

Elijah Adebayo rescues a point for the Hatters and hands David Raya the Golden Glove

By James Amey

Published: 22:02, 3 May 2024

It’s squeaky bum time for Luton and their bid from safety. 

Despite coming from behind to earn a point against Everton, the Hatters stay in the relegation zone on goal difference after their 1-1 draw at Kenilworth Road. They found themselves behind after 24 minutes, as Dominic Calvert-Lewin converted from the spot to make it four goals in his last five league games after Jarrad Branthwaite had been hauled down in the box.


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They weren’t behind for long however, when Elijah Adebayo, recently back from injury, outmuscled Ashley Young and fired into the bottom corner just seven minutes later to score his 10th league goal of the campaign. That strike sent home fans wild, but it was also cheered in North London as meant a record for one of Arsenal’s summer signings.

That strike now means that with three games remaining, David Raya’s record of 14 clean sheets in 2023/24 can’t be beaten and he becomes the first Arsenal goalkeeper since Petr Cech in 2015/16 and just the third Spanish keeper after Pepe Reina and David De Gea to win the Premier League Golden Glove.

It has been a fantastic season for the Gunners’ new number one after his summer loan move from Brentford, first ousting last season’s PFA Team of the Year ‘keeper Aaron Ramsdale between the sticks, before becoming the first ever Arsenal goalkeeper to keep a clean sheet in six consecutive Premier League matches. It has not all been down to him however, as he owes the defence and midfield in front of him a lot of credit.

William Saliba (who has kept more clean sheets than any outfield player in 2023/24 – 15) and Gabriel Magalhães have formed a formidable partnership at CB, while Declan Rice has provided the perfect shield in front of them. In 2024 alone, they have stepped up yet another level, keeping more clean sheets (9) than goals conceded (8) in their 15 Premier League matches and it all starts to make sense when you take a deeper look into their defensive numbers.


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This calendar year, Arsenal have conceded fewer shots (125) and fewer shots on target (28) than any other Premier League side, whilst also ranking first for fewest xGOT conceded (7.76). This is especially impressive when you see that the second place side Man City (15.51) is nearly double of what the Gunners have conceded.

Raya’s total of 14 is the fewest number of clean sheets to win the Premier League Golden Glove since Joe Hart in 2014/15 (also 14), but with three games remaining he could still equal last season’s winner in David De Gea (17).

As the graphic above shows, Raya has been helped out hugely by his teammates and Mikel Arteta’s set-up this season, while David De Gea had a lot more to do and saved Manchester United on countless occasions with his brilliant shot stopping ability. The Man Utd ‘keeper, who still hasn’t found a club since leaving Old Trafford, boasted a 9.8% higher save success rate than his fellow Spaniard and also prevented more goals. Raya, however, has made more ball recoveries, more high claims and conceded 20 fewer goals and with just three games remaining we can’t see him going past De Gea in that stat.

Even though De Gea won the Golden Glove last season, it was actually David Raya’s teammate Aaron Ramsdale who was named in the PFA Team of the Year for 2022/23. The man who the Brentford loanee replaced in the side actually kept as many clean sheets in 38 Premier League matches last season as David Raya has in 29 appearances the whole of 2023/24 (14).

Ramsdale was in the sticks in an Arsenal side that weren’t as good defensively last season as they are this season, especially during the period without the incredible William Saliba. The Gunners faced 3.6 shots on target per game and conceded 1.07 xGOT per game in 2022/23 compared to 2.3 shots on target per game and 0.67 xGOT conceded per game so far in 2023/24.

Both goalkeepers still make too many errors leading to shots than Mikel Arteta would like (Ramsdale 6 in 2022/23 and Raya 5 in 2023/24), but it’s the Spaniard’s superior ability on the ball that has helped the Gunners a lot this season, completed 5% more of his passes and having 115 more passes ending in the final third.