Aaron Ramsdale admits that Bernd Leno is pushing him hard to hold onto the Arsenal number one goalkeeping spot at present.
The English shot-stopper quickly established himself as the Gunners number one this season, with Leno limited to just four Premier League outings so far, with his only start since August coming against Aston Villa with the Englishman out with injury.
Ramdsale was also forced to miss the current international break also, but took the time to speak to FourFourTwo to talk about his current role at Arsenal.
“With Bernd Leno pushing me every day, I know I can’t sit back and take it easy, because he’ll take the No.1 spot off me just as quickly as I took it off him,” Ramsdale told FourFourTwo . “He’s been good with me – we fight for the same spot, but we have each other’s backs too. For me, it’s not about what happens months into the first season – I’d prefer to be judged four or five years down the line.
“I thought [that becoming the no.1] would be a process of four months, maybe a year, but I was ready. I felt settled straight away, knowing some of the lads, and the manager made it so easy for me by saying, ‘Just go and play your game.’ Once I’d got in, it was so comfortable for me to do my stuff.
“The fans have been absolutely amazing with me, too. There was obviously a bit of unrest when I signed – people were talking about me being a second-choice goalkeeper, costing a lot of money and the relegations – but that just gave me added motivation to win them over.”
With Leno likely to leave in the summer, we can only hope that his replacement next season can also keep the pressure on Ramsdale, although we hope that the English goalkeeper’s targets are just as focused on our goals and not just on him fighting to be the first choice at present.
Could Ramsdale’s form be reliant on pressure from the bench?