Premier League • England

Gary Neville sends Arteta major warning over Arsenal ‘problem’ that could disrupt title challenge

Sky Sports pundit Gary Neville

Sky Sports pundit Gary Neville

Gary Neville has told Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta there is a ‘problem brewing’ at the Emirates as the Spaniard decides whether to make David Raya or Aaron Ramsdale his long-term number one.

Ramsdale stole the position from Bernd Leno soon after arriving at the club from Sheffield United in August 2021. And the 25-year-old kept 14 clean sheets in 38 league games last season to help Arsenal seriously battle Manchester City for the title.

However, Ramsdale’s place in the team came under scrutiny as soon as the Gunners brought Raya in on an initial loan deal over the summer. The transfer is likely to be made permanent next summer for £27million.

Arteta has gone on to select Raya as his favoured goalkeeper, forcing Ramsdale to watch on from the bench. Although, Raya has not looked totally convincing so far, as he is slightly shorter than Ramsdale and less imposing for opposition strikers.

If Arteta continues to select the Spain international, then Ramsdale will probably become disillusioned with the club, setting up a potential exit in summer 2024.

In the mean time, Ramsdale could become a problem in the dressing room, while Arsenal’s key players are likely to question why Raya is still starting if his form does not pick up.

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During an appearance on Sky Sports, Neville has stated there is a ‘problem brewing’ at Arsenal due to the keeper battle.

“I do feel there’s a problem brewing here where Ramsdale is going to start knocking on the door saying, ‘get me back in’ and if [Arteta] doesn’t, he’s going to ask to leave,” the former Manchester United right-back said (via the Evening Standard).

Arsenal situation to decline very quickly, says Gary Neville

“So even though it looks like there’s competition for places in the goalkeeping position, it won’t last long this. The maximum this will last is a season because the goalkeeper who is not playing or is feeling hard done by will leave.”

Ramsdale recently outlined his aim of usurping Jordan Pickford as England’s number one. Clearly, though, this will not happen if he simply warms the bench in North London.

There have been growing rumours Chelsea could pull off a shock by snaring Ramsdale away from Arsenal. Both Dean Jones and Ben Jacobs have disclosed that Chelsea are interested in the shot-stopper, though a move is unlikely to happen in January.

Neville is not the only pundit to have expressed concern about the Raya situation recently. On Monday, ESPN pundit Craig Burley said: “The two big talking points of the summer – [Kai] Havertz and Raya – are making Arsenal weaker and not stronger.

“One, Havertz, has been taken out of the team already and the other we will see. Arsenal are a poorer defensive side with Raya instead of Ramsdale.

“I’m not sure about his positioning for Mykhailo Mudryk’s goal [for Chelsea against Arsenal on Saturday].”

Meanwhile, Ian Wright has criticised two Arsenal players for their poor performances against Chelsea, including one man who starred last season.