The sale of goalkeeper Emi Martinez to Aston Villa at the start of last season ranks among the most calamitous decisions of Mikel Arteta’s time in charge of Arsenal. The £17m paid for the Argentine was a pittance, judging from the season he went on to have for club and country.
Just a season after releasing a world class keeper, Arsenal were in the market shopping for a keeper after suddenly discovering they are short in that department. So, guess where they have to look: at relegated Sheffield United. They get their man, Aaron Ramsdale, at an even higher price than they sold Martinez. It is bad business from the outset but the Gunners have their hands tied.
Arsenal had to part with £24m with add-ons that would take it to £30m after a series of errors from the inconsistent Bernd Leno. It then begs the question, who will be Arsenal’s first keeper. It is a no-brainer that Arsenal can’t splash that amount for a bench warmer, and for the first time, Leno has a serious challenger for the number one slot.
So the biggest addition Ramsdale brings to Arsenal is the much needed competition for the German, whose performances at times have left a lot to be desired.
In his first interview at Arsenal, Ramsdale didn’t mince his words; he said in no uncertain terms that he is going for the number on jersey and looks to make it his, permanently. It isn’t a secret that Arsenal have lacked such hunger, drive and ambition. There’s a weak mentality at the club that they’ve lost the big team tag in the past few seasons.
With Ramsdale having sat on the bench against Chelsea, there’s all the likelihood he will start in the midweek game against West Bromwich Albion. As the League Cup takes center stage, SportyTrader lists the top online betting sites with ready offers for new users, including 1XBet, which has up to $130 offer in bonuses, Megapari up to €100 and Betwinner at €130 among others.
Leno still has a year to run on his contract and while he wants to end it on a high, he will have to deal with competition from a younger, hungrier player, who also has experience in the top flight. By now Ramsdale knows Leno’s weaknesses pushed Arsenal to go for him and he should have worked out a plan to address them.
Make no mistake, Leno is an elite shot stopper and among his best qualities is coming out on top in one on one situations. However, he can be a horrendous player with the ball at his feet, or under pressure. A number of schoolboy errors from the German have cost Arsenal and the statement from the club in acquiring Ramsdale is very clear.
With Arsenal under Arteta preferring starting their build up at the back, and Leno’s well documented problems with the ball at his fit, perhaps Ramsdale is the solution. Also, Leno is soon turning 30 and being seven years older than Ramsdale, it can only mean the Englishman is being groomed to take over.