The Spaniard has excelled for the Bees, playing an integral role in their promotion and continued success in the top flight.
Despite his quality, with just 18 months left on his current deal, it is expected they will look to earn around £20m should they agree to sell.
When this season began, there were huge question marks surrounding De Gea and whether he would be able to acclimatise to Erik ten Hag’s style of play.
The Spaniard had never excelled with the ball at his feet, but more than made up for it by making some sensational saves that few other goalkeepers could. In the new regime though, it became clear that his shot-stopping alone wouldn’t be enough.
All of the best sides in the last five years have had a ball-playing keeper at the heart of their success, with Ederson and Alisson both boasting the necessary qualities to start attacks from the back.
This is highlighted in that both have recorded an assist this season alone, whilst De Gea hasn’t managed one in his whole Premier League career.
Despite this, he has improved from the “liability” he was branded by journalist Phil McNulty back in 2020.
This still not may be enough for his Dutch manager, who has already shown a ruthless streak in his quest to return the Reds to the top.
This season has seen Raya boast a 7.13 average rating courtesy of Sofascore, which instantly is an upgrade on his compatriot’s 6.92. He earns this rating due to his 4.3 saves per game, which he makes at a 73% success rate; a slight improvement on the 70% rate of De Gea.
However, the most glaring chasm between their quality is in the passing, as Brentford’s 27-year-old stalwart averages 10.7 accurate long balls per match, which is over half of the £375k-per-week star’s output (4.7).
It is this proficiency that saw Raya lauded by The Athletic’s Richard Amofa, who dubbed him: “Composed on the ball. Confident claiming crosses. A safe presence in goal.”
Further praise was forthcoming from journalist Dan Bardell who suggest the Spaniard is “next-level” with the ball at his feet.
The gulf in quality may not be hugely apparent, but placing a true maestro in between the sticks could help catapult Ten Hag’s system even further. They already have added themselves to the title race despite their faltering start to the campaign, and with this addition could go one step further.