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Bernd Leno vs Mat Ryan: Mikel Arteta talks up competition between goalkeepers

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Mikel Arteta was thoroughly impressed with Mat Ryan on his Arsenal debut last weekend, despite the defeat to Aston Villa, and believes the new signing will provide good competition for established goalkeeper Bernd Leno.

Ryan arrived on loan from Brighton in January to serve as understudy for Leno and was quickly given a chance in the Premier League.

The German inexplicably handled the ball outside of the penalty area against Wolves and was shown a straight red card in the 2-1 defeat, giving Ryan the chance to step in against Villa last weekend.

Mat Ryan made his Arsenal debut against Aston Villa last weekend (Picture: Getty Images)

He conceded in the first five minutes, with the Gunners going on to lose 1-0, but Arteta was impressed nonetheless, especially with how he recovered from the early setback.

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Arsenal host Leeds United on Sunday in the Premier League and although Leno is expected to return in goal, the Gunners boss thinks Ryan will provide genuine competition to Leno and could push him for the gloves.

‘I think Mat played a really good game, and for a first game he played for us after so little training I think he was really good,’ said Arteta.

‘I really like the way he reacted because conceding that goal on your debut so early, and still reacting the way he did showed a lot of character from him.

‘That is why we brought him here because he has to be an option and he has to keep pushing Bernd.’

Arsenal were enjoying something of a resurrgence after a woeful start to the season but that momentum has slowed again with back-to-back defeats in the Premier League. Arteta’s side are 11th in the table, one point and one place below Sunday’s opponents, so they can at least leapfrog the Yorkshire club with victory at the Emirates.

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The Gunners boss has been very impressed by the newly-promoted side, with Marcelo Bielsa’s team proving an exciting addition to the Premier League.

‘They are a really brave dynamic and attacking side,’ said Arteta.

‘I think they are a really exciting side. A great coach, a great coaching staff that they are all involved and a bunch of players that they believe 100% in what they do.

‘They just go every game with the same energy and enthusiasm to go and get the points and I think they deserve more points in the table than what they have at the moment.’

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