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Aaron Ramsdale could be poster boy for Arsenal’s rebuild, charge to top 4

Arsenal goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale has an incredibly bright future at the London club in the English Premier League. Picture date: Thursday February 10, 2022. Picture: Bradley Collyer

Arsenal goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale has an incredibly bright future at the London club in the English Premier League. Picture date: Thursday February 10, 2022. Picture: Bradley Collyer

Published Feb 26, 2022

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Durban - There was always something different about Arsenal goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale. On paper, his CV was not too impressive. He suffered two relegations over the past two seasons with Bournemouth and then Sheffield United.

When he was signed by the Gunners during the last European summer, many would have viewed Ramsdale as nothing more than cover for Bernd Leno. Suddenly Ramsdale is now defining a new era at Arsenal under Mikel Arteta. As things stand, Ramsdale will be a strong contender for Arsenal’s player of the season award.

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Interestingly, if that does happen, he would have achieved his third consecutive player of the season award with a third different club.

Arsenal may now not have a side capable of winning trophies, but for a change they are playing positive football and Ramsdale has played a big role in that.

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He has helped transform the relationship between the club’s players and its fans. The turmoil between Arsenal’s fans and players has eased for a change. Fans now feel positive about supporting the club after several seasons of disappointment.

Signing Ramsdale was a masterstroke by Arteta. Not only has the goalkeeper improved the club’s performances on the pitch but he’s also been a good value-for-money addition while also improving the mood in the dressing room. After leading the club to the FA Cup shortly after taking charge, recruiting Ramsdale may be the next best thing. If Arteta were to pick a single player from his squad to sell his plan of action to the Arsenal board or fans, it would be Ramsdale.

The back-to-back relegations would have suggested to many managers that Ramsdale should go to the Championship to refine his game before coming back to the Premier League.

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Arteta could have easily signed many goalkeepers with experience playing in one of Europe’s top five leagues, but remained confident that Ramsdale was the best choice. Rumours suggested that Arsenal’s technical director Edu hoped that they would sign Neto from Barcelona.

At just 23-years-old, Ramsdale is one of the youngest starting goalkeepers in the Premier League. Should he continue to improve, he can easily remain in the Gunners team for another 10-12 years and play a big role in the club’s rebuilding process.

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Should he remain injury-free and avoid a serious dip in form, he is sure to become England’s first-choice goalkeeper during the 2026 World Cup cycle.

Arsenal are clearly not a finished project. They will stumble several times along the way, and while Ramsdale’s distribution and communication is good, he can improve on his reading of set pieces and reflexes. He also needs to work on his positioning and sweeping.

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There have been a few instances this season when he hastily rushed out of his box and compromised situations.

Nonetheless, he has been a brilliant signing. His two seasons of relegation may have actually been a blessing as it exposed him to the lows of football and would have instilled in him a sense of humility.

@eshlinv

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Arsenal FC

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