Former England goalkeeper Paul Robinson has expressed his surprise at the fact Arsenal are considering launching a third bid for Sheffield United goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale, in an interview with Football Insider.
The 23-year-old was one of the Blades’ standout players in the second half of last season but after the South Yorkshire side failed to win any of their opening 17 league games of the campaign, he was unable to save his team from the drop.
However, his performances earned him a call-up to Gareth Southgate’s provisional 33-man squad for the European Championships, although he failed to play a part in the Three Lions’ friendlies against Austria and Romania and narrowly missed the cut when the final squad for the international tournament was revealed.
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Ramsdale was eventually called up when Dean Henderson pulled out with a hip injury after the first group game against Croatia, effectively preventing him from discussing his future with new boss Slavisa Jokanovic until the conclusion of the Euros.
However, the goalkeeper had reportedly reiterated his commitment to the club earlier in the summer despite interest from the likes of Arsenal, Tottenham Hotspur and Wolverhampton Wanderers.
The Gunners have pressed on regardless though, already launching two bids for the England international and ‘considering’ a third according to Sky Sports.
This has surprised former Tottenham Hotspur shot-stopper Paul Robinson who hasn’t been impressed with his performances over the last two seasons and believes he wouldn’t displace Bernd Leno as Arsenal’s number one.
Speaking to Football Insider on this subject, he said: “I’m shocked (about a potential third bid), I have to say.
“The best I saw him (Ramsdale) play was at the end of last season. I wasn’t particularly impressed with him at Bournemouth. They got relegated and shipped a lot of goals. The same happened last season at Sheffield United.
“When teams do get relegated, their goalkeepers generally play well and off the back of that they normally get good moves. Look at Jordan Pickford and look at myself.
“It is because when you play for one of the relegated sides you have a lot of saves to make. The thing is the though, I have not seen that from him. He has not been making those saves.
“For me, it is a lot of money and a big risk. If Arsenal want to replace Leno , I don’t think they are buying better than what they’ve got.”
Even many Sheffield United supporters who have been impressed with Ramsdale will admit he’s had poor patches, but at 23, there’s plenty of room for improvement and he will only get better with more Premier League experience.
You also have to remember the goalkeeping position is a whole different kettle of fish compared to outfield positions. If the 23-year-old can stay fit and is prepared to do so, he could potentially carry on playing for another 15 years or more.
However, Arsenal should opt against pursuing this deal further after having two bids rejected already and should turn their focus towards West Brom’s Sam Johnstone instead.
At this stage, the 28-year-old is the better goalkeeper, would be more likely to challenge Leno for a starting spot at the Emirates Stadium and with just one year left on his deal, would be a much cheaper deal for Mikel Arteta to conclude.
Spending £32m on a backup keeper just wouldn’t be a wise choice for the Premier League side to make considering the need to strengthen other areas and with Ramsdale reportedly committed to the Blades, it’s likely we will see him in Championship action next term.