In the build up to the 2017-18 season, RoversChat will be looking at a section of player profiles each day. Today, RoversChat look at the goalkeepers Rovers have for next season.
Country of birth: Spain
Date of birth: 15th September 1995 (Age 21)
Appearances/Goals for Rovers: 12/0
(Stats correct as of the start of the 2017-18 season)
Starting his career in Spain, David Raya was part of the youth set up at Cornella and impressed from a young age and was rewarded when he was given the opportunity to sign for Blackburn Rovers, an offer he couldn’t turn down.
Raya impressed during his 2 years with the Youth team and was a stand out performer all season. His form was rewarded again when he signed his first professional contract with Rovers on the 26th February 2014. He was then given the number 33 shirt for the rest of the 2014-15 season. First team chances were limited because of the other goalkeepers such as Jason Steele and Simon Eastwood. This meant Raya signed for Southport on loan for a month, which was extended until the end of the season. He was the standout performer in the side’s FA cup run which was subsequently ended in the 3rd round by Derby County.
Raya then returned to Ewood and was given his debut against Leeds and he kept a clean sheet in a 3-0 victory. He signed a new contract in April 2015 and started the final game of the season in a 3-2 victory against Ipswich. Raya also featured at the start of the 15/16 season but was replaced with Jason Steele. He didn’t feature for the majority of that season and played many times for the youth team. The young goalkeeper waited patiently for his chance and that keep towards the end of the 16/17 season.
Jason Steele was in poor form, had picked up a foot injury and League 1 was looming ever closer so Tony Mowbray gave him a chance and he took it – performing fantastically in the final 5 games and made some great saves along the way. Raya has now made a huge case to be Rovers’ number 1 keeper and with the recent departure of Steele, it looks like he will be the starter keeper which is a testament to the work he. and the academy, has put in making him the keeper we all know he can be. If Raya performs like he did last season it could be a quick return to the championship for Rovers.
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