Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta has shown his ruthless streak by bringing in David Raya as his new keeper ahead of Aaron Ramsdale, and the Spaniard admits it’s not been an easy decision

Raya is in line to start the North London derby on Sunday and Arteta confessed breaking bad news and making tough decisions does affect him deeply. When asked whether he was comfortable making those big calls, Arteta said: “Maybe I look it but in your tummy when you have players sitting and you have to announce the line-up, it is one of the hardest things.

“Players feel valued and happy when they play. And when they don’t it is very difficult. You want them to feel loved and trusted and the way to do it is to play them. But everybody understands it is a team sport and it is always 11 players starting.

“But we have seen how important as well the finishers are, and how important everybody is going to be in the season and not look back at the team that have played the first six or seven games of the season.”

Ramsdale has been a key figure in Arteta’s revolution at Arsenal and the Gunners boss admitted he can sympathise with the England keeper looking unhappy even if he insists he has taken the whole situation well overall.

Arteta said: “I understand that and it is very difficult with every player. And I suffer and I care about every player who is not playing but this is the competition and this is my job to make decisions in the best possible way for the team.

“He has been very supportive and really good around the place and that is what I expect from every single player as when you are on the field, there is someone else who is not. So it goes both ways. So far he has been really, really good.

“Yes it is hard, but with other players it is the same. Aaron is an exceptional character, he has got this charisma and this aura around him, and we all know that and I fully understand that.

“It happens with many other players, you see the reception Emile Smith Rowe got the other night and it’s sending a message that we really like him and I really like him, and we have to deal with that. But at the end, you have to make the team, the line-up of what you feel and the best way to prepare the game.”