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David Raya's nose was permanently changed after suffering horror facial injury at Blackburn

David Raya's nose was permanently changed after suffering horror facial injury at Blackburn

Raya suffered a sickening facial injury in November 2018.

Arsenal goalkeeper David Raya suffered a serious nose-altering injury during his time at Blackburn Rovers.

The Gunners shot-stopper, who is on loan at the club from Brentford, was born in Barcelona but opted to move to Lancashire on a scholarship deal at the age of 16 in 2012.

Raya spent part of the 2014/15 season on loan at Conference side Southport, but it wasn't until 2017 that he became Rovers' first-choice goalkeeper.

Two years later, he joined Brentford, and played a key role in their promotion from the Championship in 2020/21 before establishing himself as one of the Premier League's top goalkeepers.

One thing that fans might not know about the Spain international is the serious facial injury that he suffered during his final season at Rovers.

During a match against West Brom at the Hawthorns, Raya suffered the sickening injury after an accidental collision with Baggies striker Jay Rodriguez.

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The impact was such that the goalkeeper required oxygen, and was later transported to hospital for further treatment.

To make matters worse, the bone at the top of his nose was 'almost pushed into his skull', manager Tony Mowbray said.

Blackburn later released a statement to confirm that Raya had suffered a broken nose and received 'several stitches to a facial wound'.

Thankfully, the injury was not as serious as first feared, although the Spaniard did have to wear a protective mask upon his return to football two weeks later.

And he had, it transpired, still managed to watch the last 15 minutes of the game against West Brom while in the ambulance.

He was also forced to have nose reconstruction surgery, although decided to postpone that procedure until the end of that season.

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Speaking to the Lancashire Telegraph about the injury, Raya reflected: "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."

He added: "It's not impeding me to breathe or anything and if I had the surgery now [during that season], I would be out for six to eight weeks.

"I think it's the right decision to wait, even though my nose isn't the same.

"It can happen to anyone, it can happen with a header to a centre-back, so that won't change my type of play or anything."

The goalkeeper suffered further woes when he received a cut to his forehead during a 2-0 win over Millwall in January 2019, forcing him to wear a bandage for the remainder of the game.

Mowbray said: "It's not a pretty sight. His nose is smashed to bits after the West Brom game. I'm not sure whether his partner will be too impressed when he gets home to be honest!"

Featured Image Credit: Getty

Topics: Arsenal, Blackburn Rovers, Football, EFL Championship, Premier League

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