This article is part of Football League World’s ‘The Verdict’ series, which provides personal opinions from the FLW writers regarding the latest breaking news, teams, players, managers, potential signings and more…
Arsenal are now in advanced talks to sign Sheffield United goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale, as reported by Football.london.
The 23-year-old has long been linked with a move to the Emirates Stadium, but it now appears that Mikel Arteta’s side are closing in on a deal.
Ramsdale, who graduated through the academy at Sheffield United before departing for AFC Bournemouth, has since returned to The Blades and played 39 games during their relegation back to the Championship.
The young shot-stopper also spent the summer with England’s Euro 2020 squad, gaining invaluable experience but without playing.
The Gunners have been closely monitoring the progress of Ajax’s Andre Onana, but they are continuing their pursuit of a home-grown option.
With Ramsdale nearing a move to Arsenal, we asked the team at FLW about whether he could beat Bernd Leno to the number 1 jersey…
The improvements that Aaron Ramsdale made to his game over the course of the second half of last season with Sheffield United showed that he has a lot of potential and can adapt to challenges and recover his form in bad periods.
However, Ramsdale still does not have the sort of pedigree that suggests he should be coming straight into Arsenal’s side ahead of such an experienced keeper as Bernd Leno. The German has been a consistent top-flight performer for way longer than the 23-year-old and at this stage seems to be the more obvious goalkeeper to rely on week in week out.
Having said that, Ramsdale is clearly someone that Arsenal see a lot of potential in and that is why they have pursued him for such a long time during the summer transfer window. The 23-year-old would have a lot less work to do at the Emirates than he did at Bramall Lane and with Bournemouth and he has shown he can be a reliable shot-stopper.
This move might come just a little too early for him in terms of being a regular starter at Arsenal straight away. However, in a year’s time Ramsdale could have a strong case for overtaking Leno.
I think time will only tell with this one.
Arsenal are buying him for his potential and with the hope that he’ll prove to be better than Leno, though I think you can only say right now that we won’t know until he’s actually played some games for Arsenal and seen what it’s all about whether he is good enough or not.
I like Ramsdale, personally, and think he is a goalkeeper certainly worthy of playing in the Premier League – we’ll just have to be patient to see how he handles a move to a club like Arsenal.
Certainly, I didn’t see too much wrong with Leno but they’re bringing in Ramsdale with a view to the future and I don’t think that’s such a bad idea to be honest, in terms of what he could become as a goalkeeper.
If Emiliano Martinez did not have the capabilities to oust Bernd Leno as Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal number one then judging off of the last couple of seasons Aaron Ramsdale seems very unlikely to in the short term.
Big six Premier League clubs have been bringing in English backup goalkeepers for a few years now with the likes of Scott Carson, Robert Green and more recently Marcus Bettinelli joining Chelsea and Manchester City.
Ramsdale arriving at The Emirates would represent a transfer of that kind but with a more long term view, there is a greater chance of the experienced England youth international reaching the number one spot than those three mentioned but it is not a serious threat to Leno.
The German glovesman is one of Arsenal’s best players and was able to push now Copa America winner Emiliano Martinez out the door last summer. Therefore in the next couple of seasons Ramsdale is not a realistic threat to oust him from between the sticks.