Pundit Andy Townsend has given his view on how Aaron Ramsdale may react to being dropped from the Arsenal starting XI.

Mikel Arteta gave David Raya his Arsenal debut against Everton on Sunday. The Spanish shot-stopper put in a fine display at Goodison Park, albeit without being overly tested by the Toffees who could muster up very little attacking threat.

It remains to be seen if Raya will keep his place in the starting XI when the Gunners take on PSV Eindhoven in the Champions League on Wednesday night, or if Aaron Ramsdale will be reinstated at the Emirates Stadium.

Arteta has indicated that he plans to use both ‘keepers regularly over the course of the campaign. Tradition would suggest, though, that either Raya or Ramsdale will eventually cement themselves as the first choice between the sticks.

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It will also be a test for the Spanish coach to keep both players happy. Having signed Raya on loan from Brentford this summer with an option to buy for £27 million, after spending £30 million to bring Ramsdale to the club in 2021 and handing him a new long-term contract in May of this year, there is clearly an appetite to keep both on the books.

Arsenal Men's First Team Squad 2023/24
Photo by David Price/Arsenal FC via Getty Images

Arteta gambling on unsettling Ramsdale

However, former Republic of Ireland midfielder Andy Townsend believes that the Arsenal boss is playing a dangerous game. Speaking on TalkSport, he said, “you don’t want to unsettle your goalie…there is normally a hierarchy with goalkeepers…you’ve normally got a one and a two.”

“Whether or not Mikel has seen enough already of David Raya and thinks…’this guy is going to be my No. 1’…it all remains to be seen.”

“Ramsdale, seemingly, has done very little wrong…it will have chipped away at him a little bit at the weekend.”

It certainly isn’t a case of poor form costing Ramsdale his place in the team. The 25-year-old has been solid so far this season, and generally very impressive since his initial arrival at the club. He will also still back himself to win the battle against Raya in the long-term.

However, there are aspects of Raya’s game that appear superior to the 4-cap England international’s. The Spaniard’s passing is excellent, and he is incredibly good at collecting crosses into the box. Those details may make all the difference to Arteta’s plans.

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