David Raya reacts to replacing David de Gea in Spain squad

Sean Walsh
Raya could make his Spain debut this month
Raya could make his Spain debut this month / Marc Atkins/GettyImages

Brentford goalkeeper David Raya has accepted that his call-up to the Spain national side in place of Manchester United's David de Gea wasn't a universally popular choice.

The 26-year-old received his first call-up to La Roja for the upcoming March internationals, alongside Brighton's Robert Sanchez and Athletic Club's Unai Simon.

However, head coach Luis Enrique has come in for criticism for overlooking De Gea, and Raya told Cadena SER that he understands his call-up won't be well received in all corners.

“People are going to have an opinion, that’s for sure,” Raya said.

“There will be people who understand it and others who don’t. I’m very happy to have been selected. 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.”

After leaving Spain for England aged 17 to sign for Blackburn Rovers, Raya remains a relative unknown in his home country, adding to the scepticism of his call-up.

But he again asserted that this is a recognisable concern for fans given that this is his first season playing in a top league.

“It’s understandable. I’ve played most of my career in the Championship, a league that is hardly known in Spain," Raya added.

“It’s understandable that there are people who don’t know who I am or have questions about me.”

Raya has made 15 Premier League appearances for Brentford this season either side of a knee injury, and ranks fourth in save percentage this term - only Jose Sa, Edouard Mendy and Aaron Ramsdale rate higher in this regard.