Doubters silenced as Aaron Ramsdale stamps authority on Arsenal No1 shirt

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 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Aaron Ramsdale recently boldly declared he wants to be England No1 at next year’s World Cup in Qatar and, on the evidence of this win over Leicester, the Arsenal goalkeeper is heading in the right direction.

Arsenal ran out 2-0 winners over Leicester here at the King Power Stadium, with both their goals coming during a blistering opening 20 minutes.

The Gunners were at their brilliant best during that spell, cutting Leicester open at will and scoring first through Gabriel and then Emile Smith Rowe.

After that, however, Ramsdale stole the show and it was a measure of his performance that he was unquestionably man of the match.

The goalkeeper made a string of brilliant saves to keep Arsenal ahead. Most eye-catching of all was his effort to keep out James Maddison’s free-kick just before the break, which looked destined for the top corner.

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

“Best save I’ve seen for years by Ramsdale,” tweeted Manchester United legend Peter Schmeichel. There cannot be much higher praise than that.

Ramsdale channeled his inner Schmeichel at times during the second-half, particularly when he spread himself large like the great Dane to deny Harvey Barnes.

That was just one of a number of fine saves, while the ‘keeper also excelled with his distribution during a performance that will have surely caught England manager Gareth Southgate’s eye.

Ramsdale was named in Southgate’s last squad and he should be in the next one too, which is due to be announced on Thursday.

The 23-year-old, however, wants to be England’s No1 and not just another man in the squad, as he revealed earlier this month.

“Hopefully I can be a part of that again,” said Ramsdale, reflecting on Euro 2020. “And hopefully that’ll be to do with a starting role.”

On this evidence, Jordan Pickford should be worried.

Smith Rowe strengthens England hopes

Ramsdale is hoping to make waves with England and the same goes for Smith Rowe, who is surely close to a senior debut.

The 21-year-old has been in excellent form since being name-checked by Southgate ahead of the last squad and he shone against Leicester today.

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Smith Rowe took his goal with expert composure and he has now found the net four times in his last seven games.

Few midfielders in the Premier League can compete with that and Southgate will surely be tempted to give the Arsenal youngster a chance to shine.

As well as his goal, Smith Rowe worked exceptionally well for the team, linking play and pressing non-stop. Even if an England call-up doesn’t come on Thursday, it is surely just a matter of time.

Nuno thrives again in absence of Tierney

It is a strange thing to write, but for once it does not feel like a crisis for Arsenal if Keiran Tierney isn’t fit.

That was certainly the case last season, when then Gunners seemed to collapse whenever the Scot was unavailable.

It is early days, of course, but right now Nuno Tavares looks as though he could be an able deputy for Tierney.

The youngster was signed in the summer with minimal fuss, and little was expected of him, but he has been excellent so far.

He impressed against Aston Villa last week and he was in fine form against Leicester too. Nuno bombed on and caused problems with his pace, but crucially he was solid in defence too. At £8.5million, he looks a steal.

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