Aaron Ramsdale: England debut beckons for Arsenal goalkeeper with recent heroics tough to ignore

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·2-min read
Aaron Ramsdale: England debut beckons for Arsenal goalkeeper with recent heroics tough to ignore
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Arsenal goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale may still be waiting to make his England debut, but over the past two months he has emerged as the most serious contender to Jordan Pickford as the country’s No1.

There were more than a few eyebrows raised when Arsenal elected to part with £24million to sign Ramsdale from Sheffield United this summer, an amount which could rise to £30m in the future, but now it looks like money well spent.

Ramsdale has been a revelation since joining the Gunners and he is yet to lose a game for his new club, conceding just four times in eight matches.

In the Premier League he has faced 28 shots, saving 24, and the most high-profile stop came on Saturday against Leicester as Ramsdale somehow kept out James Maddison’s free-kick.

It is already being hailed as ‘save of the season’ and it will have no doubt caught England manager Gareth Southgate’s eye.

But, in reality, there is a lot more to Ramsdale’s game that will be impressing Southgate as he prepares to name his latest England squad this week.

The biggest impact Ramsdale has made at Arsenal is with his distribution. There were doubts about what the 23-year-old would add to Mikel Arteta’s side in that department, mainly because he had never been tasked with such a role in his career, but he has excelled.

Time and time again Ramsdale has been the starter of attacks and it is noticeable how much quicker Arsenal seem to break forward now the Englishman is in goal.

Both with the ball in his hands and at his feet, Ramsdale has transformed how Arsenal play out from the back and that, more than anything, will interest Southgate. Pickford’s distribution has improved over the years, but Ramsdale is currently performing at a higher level.

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Another key attribute that Ramsdale has brought to Arsenal is his “energy”, as Arteta calls out.

Like Ramsdale, Arsenal’s back four is young and they have needed a commanding figure behind them. Ramsdale has provided that and his attitude has rubbed off on both fans and players.

“He is full of energy. He can transmit that energy and that passion,” said Arteta after Ramsdale’s heroics against Leicester.

Ramsdale’s rapid rise has made him the No1 contender to fight Pickford for the England shirt, with Dean Henderson having only played once for Manchester United season.

Southgate has always been loyal to Pickford, and he is likely to remain so for now, but Ramsdale is making himself hard to ignore. An England debut, and perhaps more, doesn’t feel far away.

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