Aaron Ramsdale has received praise from a former Arsenal star for silencing his critics and surpassing the man he was brought in to support.
One of the few positives for Arsenal at the weekend in their draw against Brighton was Ramsdale’s clean sheet. The summer signing has now kept three shutouts from his four Premier League appearances for the club. In addition, he was not breached in the EFL Cup win in which he debuted.
Already, it seems Ramsdale has overtaken the more experienced Bernd Leno as Arsenal number one. Thus, a long-term concern has been remedied after the Gunners previously struggled to find appropriate competition for the German.
It now seems Leno could be on his way out in 2022 if Ramsdale continues his fine form. Included in the England squad for the October international break, the former Sheffield United man’s career only seems to be heading in an upwards direction.
Some raised eyebrows when Arsenal spent a fairly hefty sum on a player who had been relegated in consecutive seasons, first with Bournemouth and then with the Blades. But he continues to prove his worth, even if those in the outfield are struggling for consistency.
Ex-Gunners striker Kevin Campbell thinks Ramsdale has even been keeping the outfield players on their toes, though, with the standards he is demanding. In fact, Campbell believes that is the main thing that sets him apart from Leno.
“This is the beautiful thing about football,” he told Football Insider.
“At first, I didn’t pass judgement because I did not know enough about him. Instead, I went away and did my research. Others made preconceptions about him because he was relegated with a couple of clubs. It was held against him straight away.
“When people found out he was signing he received hate on social media. He had to turn off his messages and comments and this was before he had even signed for the football club. Straight away fans are on his back even though he hadn’t done anything.
“There was a pre-conceived idea that he was not good enough for Arsenal. But let me tell you, that young man has impressed me as much as anyone they’ve signed. I think he’s been incredible.
“Not just his saves and his distribution but the way he commands his box. He is not afraid to give his defenders a rollicking. That is really important. I never saw [Bernd] Leno do it.
“You can see that he has a feeling for the football club.”
Arteta sends Ramsdale reminder to Arsenal
Manager Mikel Arteta has been impressed with his recent recruit, so much so that he kept his faith in him for the entire block of league games between the September and October breaks.
It seems Ramsdale will be keeping the starting berth for the majority of games going forwards.
Leno, then, has work to do to regain his place. And last week, Arteta pointed to the situation as a reminder for all his players about fighting for their spots.
He said: “It causes that everybody has to raise the level and I think that’s really positive.
“You can see when players are coming in now they are ready to take the place. It’s going to happen with Granit (Xhaka). Players are ready because the training is top.”
Arsenal’s first game after the international break will be against Crystal Palace on October 18th.