Arsenal’s Mat Ryan makes ‘world class’ claim amid battle with Bernd Leno

Mat Ryan kept his first clean sheet for Arsenal in the win at Newcastle

Arsenal goalkeeper Mat Ryan has set his sights on winning the battle for the No 1 jersey at the Emirates and believes he can be a “world class” alternative to Bernd Leno.

Australia international Ryan arrived on loan from Brighton in January and has made three starts for the club, but is behind Leno in the pecking order. The 29-year-old is keen to complete a permanent move to the London side and has rejected any suggestions that he his happy to play a back-up role for Mikel Arteta’s team.

“Obviously there was a bit of disappointment around how things ended up there at Brighton,” Ryan told Optus Sport. “Then this move came about and I could understand why people could have drawn the conclusion that ‘yeah, he’s coming here as a No 2 and wants to take the foot off the pedal, enjoy training and not push so hard’.

“Anyone that really knows me knows that’s not my style at all. My motivation is to get out on the pitch and perform. That’s the reason I sacrificed every other aspect of my life, moving away from family and friends to be across here and to be out there on the pitch and represent the club that I’m playing for.

“Obviously I knew that Arsenal have a great goalkeeper in Bernd, what he’s done in his career is testament to the world class goalkeeper he is. But at the same time, I have self-belief that I’m also a world-class goalkeeper.”

German international Leno made a costly error in Arsenal’s 1-0 defeat to Everton last month, with Ryan starting the club’s next fixture in the Premier League in a 2-0 win at Newcastle on Sunday. Leno is expected to start in Arsenal’s crucial Europa League semi-final second leg against Villareal on Thursday.

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