The 29-year-old Australian spent the second half of last season on loan at the Emirates Stadium, only managing to make three appearances as he spent the majority of the time as a backup. He clearly did something to impress during that time, though, as Arsenal are reportedly one of a number of clubs that are interested in signing him this summer.
Sky Sports suggests current club Brighton and Hove Albion are expected to shift him on as he enters the final year of his contract, and speaking on his show, Watts confirmed interest in Ryan, noting that despite his limited appearances last season, he managed to do enough away from the pitch to really impress the bosses at the club and that is why they are considering making a move for him again.
He did start by saying though that even if the club want him, it’s still not a guarantee that he would come:
“Arsenal like Mat Ryan, they would like to get him back next season, but then Mat Ryan’s got to decide what he wants to do. Does he want to come back and play second fiddle to someone all next season? He did that between January and the end of last season, he played a couple of games for Arsenal, did very, very well and everyone at Arsenal loves Mat Ryan.
“Everyone that I’ve spoken to about him says the way he handled himself, the way he performed when he did get an opportunity, about the way he performed off the pitch and handled himself, absolutely top-level professional.
“He impressed so many people and that’s why Arsenal will be very, very keen to get him back and they are interested in getting him back.”
TIF Thoughts on Charles Watts’ comments on Arsenal and Mat Ryan…
Will Arsenal sign Mat Ryan this summer?
At the age of 29, Ryan is certainly still far from what might be considered ageing for a goalkeeper, so it would be foolish to assume that he would accept being a No 2 at this stage of his career.
And with Arsenal not in Europe for next season, it’s not as if he’ll have the opportunity to play regularly if he were the club’s backup.
So if Arsenal are serious about getting him in, it might take an awful lot of persuading in order to convince Ryan that he will be of some use to them rather than just being there to simply provide competition.
And with other clubs who might be able to offer him more supposedly showing an interest, they might just be fighting a losing battle.