Mikel Arteta moved to praise Aaron Ramsdale for his performance against Norwich this weekend, but will the English shot-stopper get a fair shot at keeping the number one role?
Bernd Leno has been the club’s first-choice between the sticks since displacing Petr Cech in October 2018, but his performances in recent seasons has raised questions.
Even when Emiliano Martinez appeared un-droppable after playing a key role in guiding the club to FA Cup and Community Shield glory, Arteta was unwilling to admit that Leno would not be set to take his first-choice role back, which ultimately saw the Argentine leave much to the dismay of our fans, but Leno now looks to have a new challenger for his spot.
While the former Bayer Leverkusen man has shipped nine goals from our opening three league matches, Aaron has denied all challengers in his opening 180 minutes of football for our club, as well as keeping another clean sheet in a behind closed doors friendly with Brentford during the international break.
He looked a formidable force in a tough clash at the weekend, with his communication skills shining through, and you would imagine that he should already have his name cemented into next week’s starting line-up assuming he stays fit, but I fear that may not be the case.
I wouldn’t be overly shocked if Leno was to come back into the side to take on Burnley come Saturday, with our new summer signing being told that he will return to the team for the EFL Cup clash with Wimbledon in midweek, with a view to giving both players the opportunity to fight for their place, and show that they are both able to step-up to the challenge.
I hope I’m wrong, and that the Ramsdale has earned his spot until he makes a mistake between the sticks, while Leno should spend some time working hard to try and get that spot back, and figure out why his level of consistency has faltered.
Am I alone in believing the spot should be Ramsdale’s to lose at present?