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Arsenal star looks unrecognisable with iconic beard nowhere to be seen in incredible throwback snap from non-league loan

THIS Arsenal star looks unrecognisable back in his non-league days.

The player is now an integral part of Mikel Arteta‘s side and a three-time capped international.

The Arsenal star played for Southport in 2014

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The Arsenal star played for Southport in 2014Credit: Getty
He looks unrecognisable without his distinctive haircut

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He looks unrecognisable without his distinctive haircutCredit: Getty

But his first senior appearances came in the 2014/15 campaign at then Conference League side Southport.

He was loaned to the club for four months as a teenager just two years after touching down in England from his homeland.

The learning done at Southport and the “hard road” led to him earning a £30m transfer to Arsenal.

But back ten years ago, his iconic beard and haircut were nowhere to be seen with a shorter style chosen.

Despite leaving his old look behind, he remembers his non-league days fondly, saying: “You took your kit home to wash, came with your bag, towel. I was used to that, I’d lived alone since I was 15, but it grounds you, teaches you not to take things for granted.”

He impressed coaches while on loan and was quickly in the first-team fold at his parent club Blackburn.

After continuing to move up the ranks at Ewood Park, he signed for Brentford in 2019.

And last summer he secured his dream move to Arsenal and was called up to the Spain squad for the first time.

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The unrecognisable star is of course 28-year-old David Raya.

He has played 22 times for the Gunners this season and appears to have beaten Aaron Ramsdale to claiming the No1 shirt.

David Raya was just a teenager at Southport

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David Raya was just a teenager at SouthportCredit: Action Images – Reuters
The goalkeeper has worked his way up the leagues and is now first choice at Arsenal

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The goalkeeper has worked his way up the leagues and is now first choice at ArsenalCredit: Rex

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