Arsenal desperately need another goalkeeper. It isn’t something that can be put off until January, nor can the be solved internally. Amid all that is on the to-do list this summer, backup stopper is non-negotiable.
It looked for all the world as if Andre Onana would be that man. Reported across the English and Dutch press to the point where his CAS hearing against the 12-month ban was being covered by all major journalists.
Mikel Arteta has had a change of heart. From reports being that a deal would happen irrespective of the outcome of his appeal, the plug has seemingly been pulled.
One of the issues is that Onana wouldn’t become available to play until November. The other is that he wouldn’t be content with a number two berth. Given Bernd Leno is still at the club and not even unreliable speculation has linked him with a move away, it would have caused an issue.
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Focus shifted towards a homegrown option, one to challenge Leno and described as ‘a second No. 1’. There is no such thing as two number ones. It was an odd way of looking at it although the sentiment is there.
All of which has brought us to Aaron Ramsdale. It’s a rumour that has made the crowd go mild to say the least.
Pointing to his back-to-back relegations (and three in four seasons) as reason to be wary, it’s not just the track record that is spelling danger. However, key to note is that in the previous two seasons with Bournemouth and Sheffield United, his only two full Premier League campaigns, he won the Player of the Year award. He also scooped the gong on loan at AFC Wimbledon.
To be voted the best in class despite conceding the volume of goals he had isn’t to be scoffed at and is unfairly overlooked, even if it was slim pickings across both teams.
As a signing though, it’s still uninspiring. And what turns it from uninspiring to baffling is the kind of money that the Blades are demanding for his services.
With Leno not on course to be leaving anytime soon barring some new developments, Ramsdale, or whoever, will arrive as the number two. There is no European football to contend with next season which will limit appearances even further, and depending on the success in cup competitions the backup may be stuck with just two outings.
How much is that worth? Not what Sheffield United want.