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Will Bigger Clubs Come Knocking for Mathew Ryan this Summer?

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Mathew Ryan has had a superb season with Brighton & Hove Albion and played a big part in helping the 2016-17 Championship runners-up towards Premier League survival for another year. Now the Australian goalkeeper has the chance to impress potential suitors further at the World Cup this summer, and may pique the interest of bigger clubs in the division.

Ryan began his professional playing career at Central Coast Mariners from 2010 to 2013. The Australian international was gifted regular action after Mariners’ first-choice keeper Jess Vanstrattan suffered an anterior cruciate ligament injury, and quickly gained recognition for his efforts in the A-League. In December 2010, Ryan was named A-League Young Player of the Month, and later A-League Young Footballer of the Year for the 2010-11 and 2011-12 seasons.

During his time with the Yellow & Navy, Ryan played 80 games and won the A-League Premiership in 2011-12 and the A-League Championship in 2013. The 26-year-old’s impressive performances earned him a call-up to the Australian national squad in 2012, and he has been a regular starter for the Socceroos since Mark Schwarzer’s retirement in November 2013.

Ryan moved to Club Brugge in the Belgian Pro League in 2013, and made 77 appearances for the side over the course of two seasons. The former A-League star put in some exceptional showings during his time in Belgium and was named the Belgian Pro League Goalkeeper of the Year for two seasons running in 2013-14 and 2014-15. At this time there were big clubs circling the player, with Liverpool reportedly sending scouts out to watch him in the 2015 AFC Asian Cup.

After an uneventful tenure in La Liga with Valencia, Ryan got his big break in the summer of 2017 when he joined Brighton. At the time of signing, Chris Hughton’s newly promoted side were among the favourites in the football betting to be relegated at the end of the campaign – something which hasn’t changed much, as they sit at $3.00 to be relegated next time out. Ryan knew that he would face a tough task keeping the Seagulls up, but did a hugely commendable job in Brighton’s successful debut Premier League campaign.

Ryan played every top-flight minute for the south coast club in 2017-18 and made 125 saves in 38 games. This was only bettered by Stoke’s Jack Butland (145) and Swansea’s Lukasz Fabianski (142). He also ended the season in 7th place among keepers for clean sheets, with ten. This was just one fewer than seasoned Premier League shot-stopper Petr Cech, and it highlights what an astounding season Ryan has had. In addition to all this, Ryan made two penalty saves. This was equalled by Manchester City’s Ederson and only bettered by Fabianski, who managed three.

After these stunning performances, it wouldn’t be surprising to see the likes of Liverpool rekindle their interest in Ryan. Certainly, if the Socceroo has a successful World Cup, it may convince clubs to move for him this summer. Another season playing at this standard with Brighton would cause his price to skyrocket.

Image credit: Brighton & Hove Albion FC via Facebook

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avatarThis post was written by a Staff Writer for Ultimate A-League

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