Arsenal legend Charlie Nicholas‘ words about Aaron Ramsdale sums the performance the English goalkeeper has been exhibiting. Charlie’s words go like this: “He arrived with a lot of doubters because of his price tag but he’s ambitious, hungry and wants to prove that he belongs here. He’s been first class for Arsenal, has the captain’s instinct and he’s an organiser. That’s a positive Arsenal can build on.”
Aaron Ramsdale has been proving his doubters wrong ever since stepping into the Arsenal first team. The goalkeeper is now the number one stopper at Arsenal following his summer move from Sheffield United.
Ramsdale began his senior club career playing for Sheffield United and signed for AFC Bournemouth in 2017. Following successive loans to Chesterfield and AFC Wimbledon, Ramsdale played a season with Bournemouth and re-joined Sheffield United in a transfer worth an initial 18 million pounds. In 2021, Ramsdale signed for Arsenal in a club-record transfer worth up to 30 million pounds, becoming their most expensive goalkeeper.
Becoming Arsenal’s expensive goalkeeper was not seen positively by the football pundits and fans. Even after Leno was out of form, they criticised Arsenal’s decision to spend too much money on a goalkeeper who has not played in any top teams. But he proved everyone wrong, and it was like a statement from him for the money they spent on him. He helped the Gunners to be in the battle for the top four.
Now Ramsdale is enjoying an outstanding season under Arteta. But it was not the case in the past. He used to struggle a lot. He spent part of his youth career at Wanderers after being brought to the club by Fred Barber, who spent more than 15 years as Bolton’s goalkeeping coach. But he was released by Wanderers as a teenager due to his size, which has since sprouted to 6ft 3in. Aaron Ramsdale has described his Bolton Wanderers exit as ‘nothing short of devastating’ as he opened up on being released as a youngster.
His parents used to make a lot of sacrifices for the youngster, and they dreamed of seeing him as a top goalkeeper. Ramsdale said: “Me and my dad would stay in Travelodge Hotels night after night. One night, we couldn’t even find a hotel with vacancies. So we both kipped in his van.
Ramsdale’s stats this season in the Premier League explains why he deserves to be the first goalkeeper above Bernd Leno. In 17 appearances, he has kept nine clean sheets. He has won eleven matches and has only lost four. He has conceded 16 goals and made 55 saves in total. The impressive stat is that he has not made any errors that led to a goal and have not made any own goals.
After his impressive performance, Jamie Carragher has hailed Aaron Ramsdale as the signing of the season so far.