Arsenal goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale may never play for Mikel Arteta ever again, with the Basque boss's comments following Saturday's win over Brentford very telling about the English international's future.
Ramsdale had a tough match against the Bees, giving the ball away in one instance – relying on Declan Rice to spare his blushes with a goal-line clearance – before a wayward throw showed just how nervous Ramsdale was later on. Despite the jitters, Arsenal held on for a 1-0 win against Brentford, with the keeper picking up a clean sheet.
But Arteta's reaction after the match made things very clear. When asked twice by Jules Breach about his goalkeeper, the Spaniard avoided answering.
“I’m so happy with the team, with the way we performed, the clean sheet. I’m so happy with the way everyone played,” he said, before Breach once again asked about Ramsdale specifically – to which Arteta replied, “I think the team was exceptional today.”
Arteta may have wanted to avoid all kinds of questions about the 25-year-old for a number of reasons. But it's actually a quote from Ramsdale himself that proves that there's no way for him under this manager.
In explaining to the Player's Tribune about playing higher off his line, the former Bournemouth and Sheffield United stopper explained that he felt uncomfortable playing higher up the pitch – but eventually declares, “we were able to come to a middle ground where I wasn’t overthinking out there,” about his positioning.
It's very telling. Especially for a manager who prioritises the “process”.
Ramsdale is simply a victim of a coach who wants his players to follow his instructions to a tee rather than having to compromise his ideals. Throughout his tenure, he hasn't been afraid to make big calls with the likes of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Mesut Ozil and others, who perhaps weren't following his wishes quite how he wanted.
It's the same with Ramsdale. Incoming keeper David Raya plays higher, is better with the ball at his feet and though he may be prone to the odd mistake – take the Mykhaylo Mudryk chip against Chelsea or the occasional flap against Manchester City – Raya is adhering to the process a little more than Ramsdale did.
Arsenal next face Brentford in March: the only fixture that Arteta would be forced to drop Raya from. After all the talk of wanting two No.1s, it seems ever more likely that Ramsdale leaves in January, at least on loan, in order to get himself into contention for England at Euro 2024.
Ramsdale is worth €32 million, according to Transfermarkt.
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