Arsenal goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale fears David Raya’s status as the club’s number one will crush his England dream.
Ramsdale became an instant hit in north London after eyebrows were raised over his signing ahead of the 2021/22 season. He quickly usurped Bernd Leno between the sticks and would play a key role in the club’s rise under Mikel Arteta.
However, while many thought Ramsdale enjoyed a fine season last time out, Arsenal shocked many by adding one of the Premier League’s best-performing goalkeepers last season in Raya. After an indifferent start to the new campaign, Arteta opted to replace Ramsdale with Raya, and the Spaniard is set to start his fifth consecutive game for the club in the Premier League against Chelsea on Saturday.
Ramsdale’s performances certainly didn’t warrant a dropping, but Arteta clearly believes Raya is the better option if Arsenal are to win the Premier League title this season. The Englishman, though, is desperate to win his starting job back.
Aaron Ramsdale determined to win back starting job for sake of England career
Raya hasn’t set the world alight between the sticks, although Arteta is undoubtedly a huge admirer of his profile. The manager lauded the Spaniard’s (not literal) “big balls” after their 1-0 victory over Manchester City given how brave he was in possession, and he’s often looked secure when claiming the high ball.
Nevertheless, there’s scope for Ramsdale to return to the fold, with the goalkeeper fearing that his lack of minutes will see him lose his place in the England squad ahead of the Euros next summer.
“Yeah, of course [asked about whether there’s concern over losing his place]. It is the first time I have found myself in this situation. The [England] manager is brilliant, he trusts the players he’s worked with before,” Ramsdale said (via the Evening Standard).
“I want to get back into my club team and be able to give [Gareth Southgate] a headache, rather than just have Jordan [Pickford] as the No1 and me fall by the wayside.”
Despite impressing for Arsenal since his arrival, Ramsdale has only earned four caps for the national team. With Nick Pope competing in the Champions League and Sam Johnstone operating as Crystal Palace’s number one, the Gooner is certainly at risk of falling out of favour.
You can’t help but feel for Ramsdale, who swiftly endeared himself to supporters and immediately became a fan’s favourite. However, the evolution of Arteta’s project rendered an ‘upgrade’ on the emotional and occasionally haphazard Englishman a necessity. It’s a ruthless business, but I wouldn’t be so quick to completely rule out a Rambo renaissance in north London.