Pthat at 2-2 at Anfield, Aaron Ramsdale (Chesterton, England, 1998) was one of Arsenal’s heroes in the draw against Liverpool. The English goalkeeper left his hands free against Darwin Núñez, Salah or Konaté to avoid the ‘red’ comeback and asserts itself as a fundamental pillar in the magnificent ‘gunner’ era. Although footballers like Odegaard, Saka or Martinelli are the center of attention, without him it would be difficult to understand Arsenal’s leadership in this Premier League 2022/23.
Ramsdale? Today he was excellent again
“Today he was superb again”, declared Arteta after the game in Liverpool. Arsenal captain Odegaard also praised him. “There is no better game to play than this type of game. At least my saves helped us”he himself acknowledged when questioned by English journalists.
Ramsdale, who have 12 clean sheets this season (behind only Pope and De Gea, with 13), is already knocking on the England team’s door. Despite being a regular in the squad, he has only played three games since making his debut in 2021. Debate with Pickford (Everton) and Pope himself (Newcastle) is servedespecially if Everton end up relegating to the Championship… and Pickford follow (recently renewed until 2027).
a meteoric rise
However, Ramsdale struggled to reach Arsenal’s goal. “They dropped me from Bolton because of my height and not being able to kick the ball,” he told ESPN. Just after, Sheffield United recruited him and put her trust in him in the quarry. But he wasn’t satisfied with the leap into the starting line-up and it was Bournemouth who seized the opportunity. They paid a million pounds, signed him and ended up surprising everyone in the Premier League.
I was dropped from Bolton because of my height and my inability to kick the ball
“When I arrived I was Bournemouth’s third choice in goal”Ramsdale reports. But it ended up beating the rivals. His wins with the England Under-19s (he won the EURO in Georgia in 2017) were instrumental in boosting his confidence while on the Vitality Stadium bench.
It was then that Sheffield United paid £20m to bring him back. After a season in the Premier League as an undisputed starter, Arsenal turned their attention to the Chesterton goal. They paid 28 million and took it to the Emirates.
last year it didn’t take long to take down Bernd Leno (who is now having a great season at Fulham), and this year there were no doubts. Arteta polished his ‘footwork’, although he had already worked on it in Sheffield: “I used to help coach the younger goalkeepers on Tuesday and Thursday nights for a little more money when I was in the youth team. I also integrated the U16s in ball possession drills and played as an outfield player. It made me a little more comfortable with the ball and being able to play with both feet”, he confesses.
At Sheffield I joined the Under-16s in possession drills and played as an outfield player. It made me a little more comfortable with the ball and being able to play with both feet.
Although, Ramsdale’s growth goes hand in hand with that of Arteta and his Arsenal. They are all heading towards their first Premier League in almost 20 years and a return to the Champions League. Something that Ramsdale, for example, never “proved”. It would be his debut in the highest continental competition.
“Mikel? It’s intense, very intense”Ramsdale confesses when asked about the Spanish coach. “He just loves football, he loves Arsenal, loves to develop young players. It’s amazing,” she adds.
Arteta? He loves football, he loves Arsenal, he loves developing young players.
a few months ago An image of the ‘Gunner’ dressing room celebrating the victory against Fulham with a clock went viral on social media. For that London derby, Arteta wanted ‘closer’ to the training ground (where the clock usually is) and the history of Highbury. It worked. They won 0-3.
“He invents these things to try to move us forward”, reports Ramsdale in an interview with the ‘Evening Standard’. He continues: “We play at the hotel. Sometimes it can be burned out, sometimes it can be detecting a small difference in the television for our brain to work. It’s just his way of trying to ‘connect’ us before the game, before the warm-up, making sure that we are living and breathing football when in fact we are resting. The one with the clock was another great idea.”
Arteta tries to ‘connect’ us before the game, before the warm-up, making sure we are living and breathing football when in fact we are resting
As Ramsdale himself confesses, his first idol was Jussi Jaaskelainen. The historic Bolton goalkeeper saved ‘The Trotters’ goal when the now Arsenal goalkeeper was growing in their youth sector. “It was my first inspiration,” he says. In fact, for years he competed with Jaaskelainen’s son William for a starting role in Bolton’s academy. Their relationship has cemented over the years.
My first real memory of football and goalkeeping was the 2006 World Cup.
Then, of course, ‘Gigi’ Buffon arrived. The idol of many goalkeepers… not only in Italy. “My first real memory of football and goalkeeping was the 2006 World Cup. I was eight years old. That’s when I won the Buffon jersey, Italy’s golden jersey. It was short sleeved, which is probably why I like to wear short sleeves now. So he was probably the first one I looked up to on TV.”