For Aaron Ramsdale – This means more
Three clean sheets and only one goal conceded in his first four starts make up some impressive stats for Arsenal’s latest addition between the sticks. Aaron Ramsdale joined the north London club in late August this summer for an initial fee standing at £24 million rising to £30 million if he becomes Mikel Arteta’s first choice (The Athletic uk).
Impressive start to life in north London
Aaron Ramsdale joined Arsenal to an early environment of toxic criticism from some footballing fans and pundits. His playing record of having been relegated the previous two seasons ringing in the ears of many however, many neglected to mention the fact that he had been awarded player of the season for both those clubs in their disappointing campaigns, facing the drop down to the Championship from the Premier League.
The 23 year old England international was first called into the side, pulling on the famous jersey against Championship opposition West Bromwich Albion in the Carabao Cup. Six goals later in Alex Palmer’s net and the Arsenal faithful were singing the former Bladesman’s name after he jumped for joy, progressing to the next round of the EFL cup.
Called into the Premier League XI
After Ramsdale had earned the fans and manager’s trust, he was given his first opportunity to shine against newly promoted Norwich City in his home debut at Emirates Stadium. The 23-year-old soon registered himself a fan favourite, wildly celebrating Aubameyang’s second half goal to the fans in the Clock End. The evening concluded with a 1-0 victory. Arteta’s new keeper maintained a crucial clean sheet and sealed Arsenal’s first three points of the campaign.
Ramsdale and Arsenal faced two much tougher tests after this with a physical away contest at Turf Moor and the first north London Derby of the 2021/22 Premier League season. The Gunners left Burnley with three points and a clean sheet after a commanding performance from their number 32. The England international patrolled his box, claiming crosses and refusing to be bullied by the Clartet’s imposing figures.
North London Derby
Just a week later Spurs made the short trip across to Hornsey Road for the first highly anticipated north London Derby of the season. The Gunners ran riot in the first half, scoring three high quality goals, with youngsters Bukayo Saka and Emile Smith-Rowe playing a vital role in these moves. Ramsdale was called upon in this tie too, where, despite not being able to maintain a clean sheet, made a crucial stop to deny Lucas Moura and Tottenham from getting back in the game and keep the score at 3-1.
Another key attribute that Arsenal’s 32 possesses is the ability to play out from the back with assurance and a high degree of accuracy. Something that many Arsenal fans enjoy with Ramsdale is how he enjoys mixing his distribution up, switching between playing out from the back but also not being afraid to send the ball up the pitch, kickstarting lethal counter attacks. His composed passing was a major factor in Aubameyang’s goal in the derby alongside many attacks throughout the course of the 90.
Breaking down the transfer fee.
The £30m price tag was the main factor that caused the controversy surrounding Ramsdale’s transfer from Sheffield United but, when that fee is broken down, it makes sense in my opinion as to why Mikel Arteta and Edu pushed for this move.
Arsenal paid the initial £24 million for the former Sheffield United man and, according to various reports, this was the lowest that they were prepared to go. This may have come across as confusing to many fans as to why the relegated side would command such a fee for their keeper however, it turns out that they paid around £18m for Ramsdale in August of 2020 when they acquired him from Bournemouth.
The Blades were in no rush or need to sell their player of the season and would have been more than happy to keep him at the club and attempt to bounce back into the Premier League. With that being said, if they were to sell, then they would have most definitely wanted to make profit on their best player, which turned out to be the case, hence demanding the initial £24m.
The structure of this deal however, includes add ons at around an extra £6m if he becomes Arsenal’s first choice keeper (The Athletic UK). Bearing in mind that the Gunners paid £22m for a 26 year old Bernd Leno back in 2018, If Ramsdale becomes the first choice keeper at 23 years old, sees out the maximum of five years in his contract and continues to be called up for the England squad, it could be argued that £30m is not over the odds at all.
Why he will become a fan favourite!
Ramsdale or Rambo as he is well known as by his teammates hit off with the Arsenal faithful from minute one at his debut against West Brom in the Carabao cup. Wildly jumping and celebrating all six goals and showing the passion that all Arsenal fans want to see! Arsenal’s 32 commands his back line with no nonsense as well, barking instructions to his troops, ensuring everyone is in shape. The passion and fight that Arsenal’s keeper shows between the posts is something that all Gunners fans want to see and even though it is very early days in regards to his Arsenal career so far. There is reason for hope and excitement that he can hold this position down for years to come.