Aaron Ramsdale has revealed which Arsenal player gave Mikel Arteta a rave review of him before completing his transfer to the club this summer.
Despite being relegated in consecutive seasons with Bournemouth and Sheffield United, Arsenal have shown their faith in Ramsdale by signing him on a long-term contract. It was initially believed that he would offer stiffer competition to Bernd Leno, but it looks like he has already passed the former number one in the pecking order.
Ramsdale played regularly for Arsenal throughout September and until the international break in October. His consistency as a starter has coincided with Arsenal’s return to form. Now Leno’s future is immediately in doubt and his new competitor looks capable of being a long-term successor.
Some have questioned the purchase of Ramsdale in the summer after his relegation record and the price asked by Sheffield United. But Arteta saw beyond that and ensured that Arsenal are committed to their new man.
Ramsdale has now explained how one of his English colleagues was instrumental in the transfer.
The 23-year-old says Bukayo Saka, with whom he was a member of the Euro 2020 squad, played his part in supporting Arteta’s decision.
“Agent Saka”, Ramsdale said. “That’s what he says.
“He said the director [Arteta] spoke to him several times and luckily he gave a good review of me.
While Saka is apparently happy to be a Ramsdale teammate, the feeling is mutual. The goalkeeper shared his appreciation of the wide man as a player and a person.
“What a guy,” Ramsdale said.
“He’s just happy. He’s just always happy. What a footballer too.
“I am very happy now that he is in my team at club level.
“When you come here and you have the talent that we have at the top and Bukayo is right in the mix of that.
“You can’t help but smile when he’s mentioned or when he’s in the room.”
Ramsdale receives expert praise
The new Arsenal goalkeeper has started seven matches this season. Meanwhile, he’s proven his skeptics wrong by conceding just two goals and keeping five clean sheets.
A man who is happy to see Ramsdale thrive is former Gunners forward Kevin Campbell. He noticed how the England international offered something transformative compared to Leno.
“It’s the beautiful thing about football,” he said Football initiate recently.
“At first, I wasn’t judgmental because I didn’t know him well enough. Instead, I left and did my research. Others have preconceived ideas about him because he was relegated to a few clubs. He was immediately criticized for this.
“When people found out he was signing, he received hate on social media. He had to deactivate his posts and comments and that was before he even signed up for the football club. Right away the fans are on his back even if he hasn’t done anything.
“There was a preconceived idea that he wasn’t good enough for Arsenal. But let me tell you that this young man impressed me as much as anyone they signed. I think he was unbelievable.
“Not just his stops and distribution, but the way he orders his box. He’s not afraid to give his defenders a boost. It’s really important. I never saw Leno do it.
“You can see he has a feeling for the football club.”
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