Former Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has voiced his scepticism about Mikel Arteta’s strategy to introduce more competition among his goalkeepers at the club.
Despite the impressive performances of England goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale, who joined Arsenal in 2021 and was instrumental in the club’s return to the Champions League after a seven-year absence, Arteta signed compatriot David Raya on an initial loan deal from Brentford during the summer.
This decision led to Raya displacing Ramsdale as Arsenal’s No. 1 goalkeeper, although Raya has experienced a few nervy moments in the role.
Arsene Wenger questions Mikel Arteta’s rotation policy
In an interview with BeIN Sports, Wenger shared his belief about designating a first-choice goalkeeper.
He said: “Always. That’s my belief. I don’t believe in rotating goalkeepers, and I don’t believe in a lack of clarity in the hierarchy of goalkeepers. That doesn’t work.”
Despite Wenger’s stance, Ramsdale is expected to start in Arsenal’s Carabao Cup clash against West Ham on Wednesday.
Wenger also offered his perspective on Arteta’s choice to introduce greater competition in the goalkeeper position, stating: “I don’t know if [Ramsdale] is better. I just think Ramsdale made crucial saves in games last season. They might not have been satisfied with his footwork and distribution.”
The Frenchman is confident Ramsdale will get a chance again sooner rather than later though.
He added: “Personally I like Ramsdale. If I was in his position, I would not give up because I believe he has a chance to come back into the team.”
Arteta, on the other hand, has consistently emphasized that he has two top-quality goalkeepers and intends to use both in matches. When questioned about his decision to start Raya over Ramsdale against Everton in September, Arteta defended his approach, saying, “The same rationale that Fabio [Vieira] played here or Eddie [Nketiah] played instead of Gabriel Jesus. I haven’t received a single question about why Gabriel Jesus hasn’t started. He has won more trophies than anyone, including me, in that dressing room, but they don’t.
“It’s something that has historically been done this way, but I cannot have two players like this in one position and not play them. David has tremendous qualities, as Aaron has, like Karl has, but we have to use them, you know.”