Mikel Arteta has made a lot of headway into his rebuilding project at Arsenal, and has changed practically the whole team and populated it with talented youngsters who can hopefully develop into world-beaters.
Obviously it is too soon to tell if “the process” will be a success but recent results show that the youngsters are showing grit and determination, despite only getting to know each other at the moment.
Aaron Ramsdale was one of Arteta’s surprise additions to the first team after it was assumed he would start off as backup to Bernd Leno, but the 23 year-old has impressed everyone, and has made it clear that he believes Arsenal are still big club, despite our recent difficulties. Ramsdale told the Mirror: “I think the club has been in a difficult situation for a while. Obviously the performances on the pitch haven’t been great; the club have been in a transition period.
“You can sense it [the history] as soon as you walk through the doors that the club isn’t happy where they are. We want European football.
“It’s a young team so it’s step by step; it might have to be the Europa League and then the Champions League, but we want to get back there. You understand the pressures that brings, but it’s an enjoyable challenge, and when the highs are high they’re really high.
“Around the training ground, you see the history. The players that have played here with their unique numbers, as we have with England.
“You’ve got the Invincibles on the walls everywhere, so you understand the history of the football club. It’s now our time for us to put some new history on the wall.”
Ramsdale went on to desribe how he felt when he arrived at Arsenal: “I think when I came in I got told to be myself, and my character is to be loud, be a leader and show passion. And I also knew that I might have to shake things up in a positive and my own way.
“That’s why I’ve been brought to the club, to be myself, but the fist bumps to the crowd – again, the striker scores, Bukayo Saka scores and everyone runs to Bukayo and I’m on my own, so my teammates become the fans, so I celebrate with them and sometimes my celebrations look like I’ve scored a goal myself.
“That’s just the pure emotion and hard work throughout the week to get the three points and get the win, so it all comes out and I enjoy it.
“I think it is well documented that they were missing leaders. I don’t think we’ve now all of a sudden all turned into leaders, I just think now this team that is playing at the moment is full of confidence, we are working together, we’re earning each other’s respect and playing better football. That’s the way I see it.
“If leaders come out in different ways, Emile Smith-Rowe and Bukayo are young lads, but they lead by example with the performances and you’ve got Granit Xhaka, myself, Gabriel, Ben White who are vocal and you’ve got the captain himself who is our talisman, our go-to man and we’re all different leaders in our own way.”
Ramsdale has definitely shown that he is the leader in the defence and has only conceded once in his four games to date. And he also craves to be successful with Arsenal and believes in the club and his team-mates.
All in all, he may prove to be Arteta’s very best buy this summer, although he has a lot of competition for that title at the moment. Only time will tell, but I am loving the confidence he shows in his words and actions…