David Raya breaks silence after replacing Manchester United star David de Gea in Spain squad

David Raya breaks silence after replacing Manchester United star David de Gea in Spain squad

Brentford goalkeeper David Raya has refused to be drawn into the debate that has followed Spain manager Luis Enrique’s decision to select him over Manchester United’s David de Gea in his latest 23-man squad.

Enrique, who has been linked with United job in the last few months, named his squad for Spain’s upcoming friendlies with Albania and Iceland on Friday and De Gea was not included, despite enjoying a successful season at Old Trafford. Instead, the former Barcelona boss handed Raya a maiden call-up.

The Brentford shot-stopper, who has kept five clean sheets in 15 Premier League games this season, has never represented his country at any level and has spent the bulk of his career playing in the Championship. However, he has been included in the squad because he suits Spain’s style of play more than De Gea does.

He is renowned for playing the ball out from the back and being good with his feet. But although that is the overriding reason behind his inclusion, Raya does not wish to get bogged down in debates about him being chosen instead of De Gea.

“People are going to have an opinion, that’s for sure,” Raya told Cadena SER. “There will be people who understand it and others who don’t.

“I’m very happy to have been selected, and I’m going to try to do my best. I would like to make my debut in Barcelona, which is my home city, but if I make my debut, I am more than satisfied.”

On how proud he is to have been handed his first call-up to the squad, the Brentford goalkeeper added: “The first thing I did was to call my parents and my family. Everything I have achieved is also thanks to them.

“It’s a dream I’ve had since I was a kid, so it’s a fantastic moment. It’s understandable (the debate).

“I’ve played most of my career in the Championship, a league that is hardly known in Spain. It’s understandable that there are people who don’t know who I am or have questions about me.”

Following the squad announcement on Friday, Enrique conducted a press conference, answering questions on his selection choices. The inclusion of Raya, of course, was a big talking point and De Gea’s omission was questioned.

Hinting why he had chosen Raya left the De Gea out of the squad, Enrique explained: “It is part of the tracing we do with the goalkeepers. He is a player who is doing very well.

“I really want to see it in the context of the selection. He has the necessary profile to play with us.”

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