Gary Neville believes a demoted Arsenal star will consider quitting the Gunners, while Jamie Carragher’s fears for the player appear to have come true.
Eyebrows were raised when Arsenal completed the signing of David Raya on August 15. The Spain international joined on an initial season-long loan that netted Brentford £3m. The deal contains an option to buy worth £27m which Arsenal are fully expected to activate.
The arrival of such an esteemed stopper was always likely to have consequences for incumbent No 1, Aaron Ramsdale.
The England international initially kept his place between the sticks, though Raya was selected for the last two Premier League matches. Even more tellingly, it was Raya who got the nod in Arsenal’s Champions League opener against PSV Eindhoven.
In the prime of his career aged 25 and with England ambitions to consider, many within the media have speculated Ramsdale’s future lays away from the Emirates if installed as No 2.
Mikel Arteta has suggested he’ll chop and change and both keepers will get their fair share of opportunities. However, if Ramsdale’s chances come in the lesser competitions the writing may be on the wall.
Now, speaking on the first episode of the Stick to Football podcast, pundits Gary Neville and Jamie Carragher weighed in on Ramsdale’s future.
Firstly, Neville claimed Ramsdale will push to leave Arsenal if his demotion becomes permanent.
Ramsdale backed to leave “if it carries on like this”
“If it carries on like this, he’s going to have to knock on [Mikel Arteta’s] door and say ‘look, I need to play football somewhere else if it carries on like this’,” said Neville.
Carragher then described Arteta’s call to sign Raya and then favour him in the bigger matches as “ruthless”.
Nonetheless, Carragher believes Arteta’s decision is justified if he truly believes Raya is the superior keeper. In any case, Carragher added the Gunners boss must do all he can to keep Ramsdale’s spirits up given he’s likely to be selected for the lesser fixtures.
Given Ramsdale got the nod for Arsenal’s League Cup clash with Brentford on Wednesday night. Carragher’s theory Ramsdale won’t play the big games looks to be correct based on the early evidence at least.
“When you’ve got proper top-class goalkeeper – and it remains to be seen whether Raya is that – for Arteta to bring him in, he feels he’s better than Ramsdale, so I’m totally with the manager. I think it’s really ruthless,” added Carragher.
“He (Ramsdale) might play in certain games now and again like cup games or maybe some Champions League games if they qualify early.
“He’s got to try and keep him on side a little bit for the training sessions every day to keep the morale.”
Ramsdale is under contract with Arsenal until 2026 and the club hold an option for an extra 12 months.
As such, if Ramsdale were to leave at some stage in 2024 the Gunners can expect to make a sizeable profit on their £30m outlay.