David Raya was mistakenly unveiled as a new Arsenal player even before the club made a special unveil on August 15, and some immediately started wondering if he had actually gotten a nose job before the move.
The Spanish goalkeeper decided to join the Gunners on loan from Brentford after being one of the most reliable no.1’s in the Premier League last season. Raya made more saves (154) than any other goalkeeper in the league in the 2022/23 campaign, 59 more than his now-Arsenal teammate Aaron Ramsdale.
With Raya’s acquisition, Mikel Arteta has probably moved the ‘no.1’ term out the door at Arsenal and there is probably no assured keeper for all the games. Ramsdale will probably be rotated with Raya and the player who performs to their best, contributes the most for the team and makes the fewest error will be the no.1 going forward.
The Spaniard was given a warm welcome to his new club, with Mikel Arteta even sharing a beautiful moment with his grandfather Joaquin – gifting him a new Arsenal shirt to his delight. Raya also appeared to have kept himself in best shape and appearance heading into his unveiling, but fans immediately noticed something different about him.
Why Raya’s facial features look awkward in leaked selfie
In the picture uploaded by his agent of the two in the Arsenal’s training facility before he was officially announced as a new player for the Gunners, some noticed a few different details about Raya’s facial appearance.
In a side-by-side comparison with his agent, a few features about his face seemed different – especially the shape of his nose and some structural changes to his face.
Some supporters accused Raya of getting some of his facial features ‘altered’ in an attempt to look more dashing and presentable for his unveiling at Arsenal. However, that was not the case at all. He has had a nose job in the past, but that has been forced due to unfortunate circumstances.
In 2018, when Raya was still playing for Blackburn Rovers, he suffered a horrific broken nose during a game against West Bromwich Albion. In fact, his injury was so shocking that some players reportedly felt sick watching him in the dressing room afterwards.
Raya had recounted his horrific experience and said: “I thought when it happened at the time that my face was fully broken. It felt like a big crack in my face, so I thought I would need surgery straight away. I felt like my nose and my head wasn’t right. The main thing was that I didn’t get knocked out or anything so that gave me the belief a bit more.
“I wasn’t expecting to be back this quick. But when I saw the specialist on Wednesday before the game he told me that if the swelling went down and the stitches came out, they’d be happy for me to play with a mask. That was great news and I just pushed myself in training so that I could be back.”
Did Raya get a nose-job?
Instead of moving in for imminent surgery, Raya decided to play the entire 2018-19 season wearing a protective mask around his nose to safeguard it from further damage. He did, however, need to undergo nose reconstruction surgery (or nose reshaping) to fix the shape and structure of his nose after the season was over.
A nose reconstruction surgery in the UK can cost about £4,000-£7,000 – but would cost one even more if there are specific complications with a person’s nose or if it is severely damaged. It’s safe to assume that going by how badly his nose was broken and with some of his facial muscles also being impacted, Raya had to pay more than that amount to reshape his nose properly and also fix up his facial structure.
So a reason behind Raya having a seemingly weird nose is because it was badly broken and had to be reshaped as a result. He didn’t get a nose job or a ‘face-lift’ just to make himself look attractive for the Arsenal unveiling, as the goalkeeper is more focused on making that no.1 role at Arsenal his own than to impress anyone with his attractiveness.