After intense speculation over his place in Mikel Arteta’s plans, the Arsenal manager has discussed Aaron Ramsdale’s future.

Arsenal’s mooted interest in Brentford goalkeeper David Raya has led many to question what Mikel Arteta plans for Aaron Ramsdale.

Ramsdale is the undisputed current No. 1 at the Emirates Stadium. He started against Monaco in the pre-season friendly match last night, and plenty will have been watching to see if all the additional attention impacted his performance between the sticks.

In the event, Ramsdale produced a solid performance. He could do nothing about the Monaco goal, but made some smart stops, including one to keep out a penalty in the shoot-out that followed the match.

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Arteta was quizzed on Ramsdale in the wake of the game, and praised the 25-year-old’s display. As quoted by the club’s official website, the Spanish coach said, “he was really good. I think he was really composed in the game…Everything he did in ball possession was really good.”

When asked if Ramsdale is still in his plans, Arteta replied, “Yes, it’s still the same.”

Arsenal FC v AS Monaco  - Pre-Season Friendly
Photo by Marc Atkins/Getty Images

Ramsdale needs to rise again

Whilst that doesn’t rule out a move for Raya being in the works, it does suggest that Ramsdale remains the first choice going into the new season. The 3-cap England international will almost certainly be in the starting XI when the Gunners take on Manchester City in the Community Shield, and when their Premier League campaign gets underway against Nottingham Forest.

The £63,000-a-week shot-stopper will be determined to prove his quality decisively in those matches. He has been doubted before and risen to the challenge, not least in ousting Bernd Leno from the starting line-up shortly after his arrival in north London.

Even if Raya never materialises at the Emirates Stadium, the stories crediting Arteta with interest in the Spanish ‘keeper should still prove enough to light a fire under Ramsdale and spur him on to greater heights. He will back himself to raise his game and silence the doubters once more.

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