How resurgent Ramsdale can stake a claim for England against Andorra
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How resurgent Ramsdale can stake a claim for England against Andorra

His £24million switch from Sheffield United to Arsenal raised a few eyebrows, but Aaron Ramsdale has quietly gone about his work this season. After keeping three clean sheets in his first four Gunners matches, he has usurped the much more experienced No1 Bernd Leno, whose time in North London looks to be coming to an end. Mikel Arteta's side had shipped goals for fun in their opening games, conceding nine in three which prompted a change between the sticks and a change in form. With three wins from four since Ramsdale was made the first choice, pressure on the Spanish coach has lifted. Ramsdale has shaken off any suggestions Arsenal overpaid – or that successive relegation's with Sheffield United and Bournemouth were indicative of a perceived lack of quality. Aarron Pullen gives his verdict on the Arsenal keeper and his chances of cementing a spot in the England squad.



Not fazed by any of the noise, he has gotten on with the job at hand and become a controlling presence at the back.

Unlike Leno, he has commanded his box and not been afraid to shout at his defenders when necessary, a trait which Arteta claims is a reason they were so desperate to secure his signature.

He said: “The way we’ve decided to recruit Aaron is going through a big process where obviously we wanted to know about his personality, about his character, about the way he could handle the fact to play under big pressure in a big club.

“He’s showing that he’s ready to do that, I’m really happy with his performances and what he’s bringing to the team.

“That’s why I think defensively we’ve been difficult to concede goals.”

The fate of the Cherries and the Blades was hardly the 23-year-old’s fault, having been named both clubs’ player of the year during those campaigns.

Leading The Stats

Despite coming into the side late, Ramsdale already has the best goals conceded per 90 ratio in the Premier League (0.25) while his 90% save ratio is behind only Chelsea stopper Edouard Mendy.

Now he’s looking to kick on for his country, and this international break provides an opportunity for Ramsdale to earn his first cap for the Three Lions.

After accumulating 34 youth caps across every level from Under-18 to Under-21, he has had to bide his time for a first senior appearance.

Jordan Pickford has been Gareth Southgate’s No1 since 2018, but it has been a competitive battle for a starting place.

Opportunity Knocks

Dean Henderson, Sam Johnstone, Nick Pope, Tom Heaton and Jack Butland have all donned the Three Lions gloves in recent seasons and, thanks to his form with Arsenal, Ramsdale is starting to stake his claim.

An injury to Henderson opened the door for Ramsdale to be part of the Euro 2020 squad, which gave Southgate a chance to run the rule over him at close quarters.

He said: “Aaron was with us all summer and we had the opportunity to work with him for a long time and get to understand his strengths.

"Nick [Pope] is still I think coming back from injury a little bit, but I think Aaron is just in a better vein of form at the moment.

"From Aaron's perspective, the move to a bigger club with higher expectations and a style of play where he is asked to build with his feet from the back, he's coping really well."

Pickford’s incredible form in the summer, which saw him earn the Golden Glove, denied Ramsdale a chance.

Now, as the Three Lions prepare to face Andorra and Hungary, the path could be clear for Ramsdale to take centre stage.




V: 1.22.1 All rights reserved. August 2021