Mikel Arteta handed Aaron Ramsdale his Arsenal debut against West Brom last night and the Englishman definitely exceeded expectations.
Many Arsenal fans weren’t convinced by Arteta and Edu’s decision to sign Ramsdale. It just didn’t make sense, especially considering that he had been relegated from the Premier League in each of his last two seasons.
However, Arsenal saw something special in him and decided to splash the cash. If first impressions are anything to go by, the Gunners may have just signed a top-quality goalkeeper who will give Bernd Leno a run for his money.
Ramsdale: What Arteta told me before my Arsenal debut
After a truly memorable debut which saw Ramsdale keep a clean sheet while his teammates scored six at the other end, the Englishman was asked what his manager told him before the game at the Hawthorns.
Ramsdale told Arsenal.com: “(Arteta told me to) Just play the game. Play my feelings. It’s me out there on the pitch. Obviously, we can do things on the training ground, but ultimately, it’s what I feel on the pitch, and it’s just adapting to the way we play. I’m delighted for tonight.”
On making his debut, he said: “Yeah, [it was] special. I wasn’t expecting the reception I got, so a big thanks to the fans for that. A packed away end on a Wednesday night in the second round of the Carabao Cup shows the passion that the supports have and we put on a good performance for them. As debuts go, it’s one of the better ones.”
The Insider’s View:
People’s perception of Ramsdale is understandable considering his terrible luck in each of his last two Premier League seasons. However, his talent is unquestionable and he proved his class in goal for us yesterday.
The Englishman stepped up when required last night. He made four really good stops, and his distribution was really impressive as well, something that probably surprised many Arsenal supporters.
Leno will remain our number one, but he will have to be on his toes now. That will surely bring the best out of him this season, which is already a positive compared to what happened last campaign.