International Soccer

Why David Raya was subbed off at half-time during Spain friendly

Spain manager Luis de la Fuente has eased Arsenal fans’ fears that David Raya had suffered an injury on international duty after the goalkeeper was subbed off at half-time during a friendly.

Raya featured from the start of Spain’s 1-0 defeat to Colombia at London Stadium on Saturday evening, earning just his fourth cap with national team due to Unai Simon having control over La Rojas’ number one jersey in recent years.

During the first half of the game at a raucous London Stadium, Raya more than held his own – making two saves and distributing the ball effectively by completing a 95% of his passes.

David Raya

Raya earned his fourth cap / AFP7/GettyImages

Due to that impressive showing, it came as a surprise when Raya didn’t take to the field for the second half of proceedings, with Real Sociedad’s Alex Remiro taking up goalkeeping duties in the Arsenal star’s stead. Remiro, in his senior national team debut, would concede a 61st minute winning goal scored by Crystal Palace full-back Daniel Munoz.

The surprising nature of the substitution led to worrying speculation among Arsenal fans that their club’s number one goalkeeper had suffer some sort of an injury during the game. However, speaking to the press, Spain manager De la Fuente rebuked these claims, revealing that the substitution was done in order to give fringe players in the squad some international gametime.

“We wanted them to live this experience. They are important players with a great future,” he said.

“They still have a long career ahead of them. We learn more from defeats than from victories. We are satisfied with a lot of things. We wanted to test ourselves and continue to improve.”

Raya may have another chance to add to his senior cap tally on Tuesday evening when Spain face off against South American giants Brazil at the recently refurbished Santiago Bernabeu.


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