What is next for Arsenal in their search for HG goalkeeper?

Talks breakdown between Arsenal and Sheffield United for Aaron Ramsdale. What now?

I’ve never seen a more vigorous opposition to any Arsenal target before. Despite not being an Arsenal player, Aaron Ramsdale has been the most hated person among the Gunners faithful in the past few months.

If he had joined the North London outfit this summer, convincing fans and proving them wrong about his abilities would have been an extremely tiring uphill battle.

For that I feel for the boy, who’s career is still at an infancy stage. Goalkeepers usually play out their career well into their thirties, and certainly the Sheffield United shot-stopper had room for massive improvement.

But his signing just didn’t sit right with the Arsenal supporters. While some fans branded the club’s interest in Ramsdale as “money laundering” scheme, others showed their disappointment and anger of using the Joe Willock money on the former AFC Bournemouth player.

But the latter discussion was a pointless one given we have chased the England international from the start of the summer. And were willing to make an investment regardless of what happened with the Newcastle-bound man.

Some fans still have some scars on the club’s decision of cashing in on Emi Martinez last summer. But it’s worth considering two points. First, they did not receive any offer for Bernd Leno.

Second, had we (somehow) sold the German instead of the Argentine, the same people would have said something like: “Why did we sell our number 1 and future starter for German national team, after Martinez had just 10 good games?”

Some of us are reactionary and that’s just how this strange world works.

Now, the Gunners attention will naturally shift to their other targets on the list.

West Brom’s Sam Johnstone and Newcastle United’s Freddie Woodman are other homegrown, cheaper candidates who Arsenal might pursue.

But the Gunners faithful only dream about a certain Cameroonian. A shot-stopper who is young, has exceptional ability to play out from the back and is even priced at an astonishingly low price.

That certain keeper goes by the name of Andre Onana.

The Ajax man’s ban until November and his due involvement in AFCON in January the next year means the London club will not be able to name him in the starting 11 for almost four months.

The best decision the club can make is that: 1) Let Leno be the number 1 for the entirety of the season. 2) Sign a decent backup on loan for six months, similarly to what the club did in the last shop window in winter.

That way, Arsenal will not be biting their nails whenever Leno comes out of his box or falls on the ground clutching one of his legs.

But that outcome depends on Onana and his willingness to not be a straightforward first-choice option at the Emirates Stadium.

The rollercoaster ride of the transfer window is approximately three weeks from shutting down, and Arsenal fans would hope that it presents more excitement rather than bumps.

Yash Bisht

Tags Onana Ramsdale


      1. I don’t know why everyone keeps banging on about the 10 game hero.

        Just get over it, the girl dumped you and since then has had a boob job, lost some weight, got her teeth and lips done and now you want her back.

        Next I don’t understand why we need a homegrown keeper?

        It’s not like we are even at our limits with regards to non-homegrown and with runarrson, Kolasinac, Torreira and Willian possibly lacazette too seemingly out of the picture we do not need a homegrown keeper.

        I think it’s more likely that we are not keen on onana for other reasons. 1. He is unavailable till November. 2. He has a drug conviction hanging over him. 3. He is African and could be off to the afcon. 4. Ramsdale was seen as a new no.1 not back up, meaning we could sell Leno and recoup cash.

        I think Arteta would ideally like Ramsdale and Onana, but was looking at spending around £25m in total, which he could have recouped around £20m of that by selling the current first choice keeper and his deputy.

        As for the fans, please get over this Martinez thing, it’s gone, it’s done just bloody let go and move on.


  1. And we kick off tomorrow night !

    Leno gets injured in the first 10 ?

    Said Freddie Woodman on here months ago.

  2. I agree with your opinion about the fans who blamed Arsenal for Martinez’s sale. Had we sold Leno and Martinez flopped, the stupid people would most likely blame Arsenal for selling our number 1 GK and a future starting GK for German

    Martinez’s comments in your article have also clearly shown that he wanted to be number one GK at Arsenal, otherwise he preferred to move. The main problem is Arsenal didn’t prioritize our homegrown quota at that time and now they’re having problem with it

    Since the main criteria for the new GK are under 25 years old and English, we have to forget about Onana. We need to look at the lower division, because EPL homegrown GKs are mostly overpriced

    1. Leno was always error prone. He was still going to be sold one way or the other. Either Martinez failed and Arsenal were lauded or he succeeded and proved to be a poor sale. Its like the Willock one. You can’t have it both ways. Ideally we were supposed to keep both, with Martinez starting as No. 1. He could’ve been sold eventually. The gamble was worth taking because he was everything Arteta himself needed.

        1. A big club like Arsenal should be able to take that gamble but rather always pick the easy way out like a small team. Leno was always going to be sold because he’s always been error prone. That is the point people are missing. I’m not shocked that today a lot of our fans are talking about replacing him. Imagine the scenes if we actually signed Ramsdale. for 30m. Its almost like the club loves an error prone GK

    2. There’s no how Leno will be ahead of Andre Ter Stergen or even Kelvin Trapp…That bloke is too casual to be a number goalie for a top club and the German national team.

    3. That’s true. But we can also look at academy players who are close to breaking thru at their respective clubs…

      1. We’ve got some young GKs from our academy, but I believe Arsenal are looking for the ones with three years of experience or more

    4. Martinez’s comments are twisted to suit the arguments.

      Martinez was told that he was 95% expected to start the game against Fulham on the first day of the season. Now, that one game is not the entire season. He never said he wished to be the No.1 for the entire season.

      One thing every football fan knows is that GK are picked to start the game based on form alone, unlike outfield players who were picked or benched depending upon the tactics and opposition.

      Emi ended the season as THE GOALKEEPER ON FORM at Arsenal and he expected to be picked to start the opening game of the season based on that evidence. After almost a grueling decade at the club, littered with multiple loan spells at different clubs and warming the bench for seasons, Emi proved his worth when he had his opportunity to start a string of games.

      Our management made the decision and must live with the consequences. Twisting Emi’s words and putting the blame at his doorstep is tasteless.

      1. Both Arsenal and Martinez clearly benefited from the sale, so the fans must stop blaming Arsenal and Arteta for it

        1. Only after a couple more seasons, it’ll be clear if we’ve benefited from the sale. Because, we are still on the hunt for a new goalkeeper and we haven’t replaced Martinez yet.

          We’ve just gained 20 mils. If that’s termed a “benefit”, we could have benefited more by accepting Villa’s 30+ mils for ESR this summer.

        2. Yes Gai let’s leave the blame game and move on..
          What’s important now is how to get a reliable promising better Gkeeper bcos we truly need one.

      2. You also need to consider it form a manager’s perspective. Is it really unreasonable for a manager to tell a player that he is 95% certain of starting the next game?
        Martinez performed well when he was playing at Arsenal and was better overall compared to Leno last season. However, if you actually look into a detailed analysis the difference is not as great as many think.
        Asking Martinez to stay and fight for the spot was reasonable and fair.
        Martinez disagreed and left. He has done well since. That’s absolutely fine and I don’t believe there should be any blame apportioned to anybody.
        The alternative argument is that Arsenal should have kept Martinez and sold Leno. This is an unreasonable position that many fans are taking as it does not take into account the circumstances at the time.

        1. “Asking Martinez to stay and fight for the spot was reasonable and fair.”

          Totally agree with your comment.

          But, the one remaining question is “Was he asked to just stay and fight or asked to sign a contract extension first, then stay and fight?”

          Nobody but the people involved can answer that.

  3. It’s hard to believe we have Brentford tomorrow in the Premier League and we haven’t got a backup goalkeeper. What else is it other than incompetence and negligence to have a club like Arsenal in that position. It’s unacceptable yet some supporters find it acceptable. How this club has changed. How sad.

    1. You have to take the pandemic into account. Chelsea have more than 30 players in the first team picture

      1. Pandemic only happened in North London ops sorry only in and around Emirates 😂🤣. How do you guys come up with these excuses?

  4. I don’t agree with your Leno and Martinez arguments. I was expecting Arsenal to act like a big club and keep Martinez as No. 1 and then bring Leno back if Martinez proved not to be good enough. Coaches usually usually have their No. 1 GK set and as the last line of defense why wouldn’t they. Martinez had to leaver to elevate his career and he’s around the same age as Leno too. Arsenal needed a ‘boring’ keeper and Martinez was just that. Someone who had great reflexes but did all the basics very well while not being flashy. Martinez had a lot of problems with his ball handling when he was younger and its clear he has worked on that and that is why he doesn’t love to parry. Leno was always going to be sold. It was a question of when. He’s always been this error prone before he came to Arsenal and I didn’t expect it to stop so if we gambled and sold Leno we would only be selling him earlier. Our fans aren’t so forgiving due to some of the error prone GK’s and defence we’ve had in the past.

      1. He would’ve had to prove himself still. He can’t average and be 1st choice. That is why I said coaches usually have their 1st choice GK set.

    1. Leno was probably our most important player before he got injured. Last season’s errors seem to have deleted that from fans’ memories.

      1. Its because his reflexes were put to the test a lot. His reflexes have always been world class from Bayer Leverkusen. That was never in doubt. However, you can see that he’s not as good in other departments and thast always been his problem. He would’ve been better than Ter Stegen if not because of that.

  5. There’s just one flaw in this article.

    Let’s compare Leno’s situation now to Emi’s situation in the summer of 2019. Both enter the season without being the long-term guaranteed No.1 at the club. Both enter their final two years of their current contract. This is the crucial missing piece in the article.

    Luckily for Emi, he ended that season on a high and almost guaranteed himself being the No.1 going into the next season. Unfortunately for the club, he has entered his final year of his contract and must bow down to his request or risk losing him for a much lower value than their valuation that summer or for nothing in the next summer.

    If Leno is not a guaranteed No 1 in the long-term, the club must make a firm decision before this transfer window shuts. If Leno manages to deliver masterclass performances this season, our management will put themselves in the same situation as they did with Emi.

    If we start the season with Leno as our No.1, without an able understudy who can dislodge him from his spot midway through the season and make that No.1 his own, our management is taking a huge risk.

    This somehow shows that our management have learnt absolutely nothing from the past.

    1. The main point is that Leno has always been error prone. When Emi delivered masterclass performances it was not only because of reflexes. He was good in other departments. The question I have for people is did it take them the 20/21 season for them to not to rate Leno as highly?? I’m seeing people imply before his long term injury in 19/20 he was good enough.

      1. Kev’.

        Leno joined us in 2018.

        Without pawing over each performance since his joining, I not sure ” Leno has always been error prone.” is accurate.

        ” The question I have for people is did it take them the 20/21 season for them to not to rate Leno as highly”.

        Well, he was rated quite highly in 19/20, as he was voted runner up to Auba as POTY …. for making errors ?

        Yes, Leno needed to be mentally stronger since the “Emi affair”, as he has not looked the same keeper since – but he probably didn’t anticipate suddenly becoming the spawn of the devil.

        Also, M A’s clear insistence at playing our from the keeper at almost every occasion I admit clearly doesn’t suit him – but “always been error prone.” ??

        An error free keeper is a rare breed indeed.

        1. When I say error prone I say that in context and you clearly know what I mean. There is no error free GK. I watched him at Bayer Leverkusen and he always looked like someone with world class reflexes but full of errors. He may have been highly rated in the 19/20 season and that was accurate because then his reflexes were put to maximum and he excels in that department. He doesn’t excel in other departments. If I employ your logic there should be no problem signing Ramsdale to replace.

          1. That implies that the team of 19/20 was set-up in a way to mask Leno’s shortcomings and the 20/21 set-up left him exposed. That’s not Leno’s fault, IMO. The problem clearly lies elsewhere in the squad, beyond any doubts.

          2. We had a poor 19/20 season. Think of it as that season where people were lauding DDG. It was all due to reflexes but we already knew tha tas world class. Now that Utd are more dominant he’s been exposed on countless occasions and has proven not to be a calming presence behind the backline.

      2. “Always error prone” is a little over the top. Just like Laca, Xhaka and Holding, Leno has his good fair share of good games in Arsenal colours.

        But, he seriously lacked two things. It was evident after watching Emi’s performances while Leno was out, injured.

        Emi had that confidence and the ability to hold on to the ball, unlike Leno who’s first instinct is to punch or parry the ball away. Leno was severely lacking in that department and that sets Emi apart from him.

        Emi commanded his 18 yard box much better than Leno. Emi made sure his defenders were there to keep the defence tight. Leno isn’t as vocal as Emi and that can’t be taught.

        Overcoming those two deficiencies is a monumental task and to expect Leno to do that immediately will be deemed ridiculous.

        1. Okay then to put it simple he’s highly error prone. I will laud him for the world class saves but I can’t help but think there’s always going to be a big mistake in him that will cost the team. Somethings are innane. People might think being vocal, commanding the box and the like are easy. When you have it you have it. That’s mostly how football is. Most if not all world class GK’s are likely to have such things at a young age when they start.

          1. Leno is ashot stopper but he is not one that instills confidence in his defence who are always on edge waiting for the flap at a set piece . His handling especially at corners is not good and he prefers to punch rather than catch . As a centre back I would always be looking over my shoulder to see what he is up to.
            If you trust your keeper life is much easier , I don’t think that last seasons did . Whats more I don’t think the fan base does either.

          2. Exactly my thoughts. Its not that I hate Leno. Its clear that he’s simply error prone and if Arsenal get the chance to replace him they must.

        2. If EMI was so bloody good how come no one else wanted him? Before his 10 game run we couldn’t even sell him for 2m. He had been virtually untested at the top level. Leno on the other hand around 350 first team matches under his belt all at the top level and had German caps to go with them.

          1. That’s because he was never given a proper chance at Arsenal to stake his claim. He was supposed to be when it was obvious Ospina was never good enough for us yet Wenger persisted with him to punish Szczesny. I don’t even know why you’re bringing up the past in this context. He has proven himself at top level and that’s what matters

        3. The point is, when you consider the points lost due to Leno’s howlers, we would have been finished ahead of spurs and possibly even Leicester. We knew he was error prone when we signed him.

          1. As someone else already posted, there is no “error-free” GK.

            Pardon me for bringing in some stats into this discussion, for I need something to back my claim, when you’ve speculated about us finishing higher if it wasn’t for Leno’s howlers.

            Errors from Leno directly leading to a goal in the 18/19 season was 2 and we finished 5th in the league table.

            Last season, the number was “NIL”, yet we finished 8th in the league table.

            I don’t understand how Leno can improve upon his howlers that didn’t cost us a goal last season, there by affecting the points and our position in the league table.

  6. Absolutely thrilled the deal fell through Ramsdale is no better than what we already have in Leno no way worth 30 mill very average keeper and that’s being kind!!

    1. Would’ve been a shocking signing considering Leno’s criticized for the same errors. It would’ve been a younger Leno for an older one.

      1. Kev.

        Not saying I disagree with some of your points , just not so much historically.

        Also we best get onto the German Football Federation before Neuer retires – Leno’s up next, unless you fancy Joachim Löw’s old job 😉

        1. Torreira to Lazio, loan

          Kolasinac agreement almost done

          Enquiry made for Denis Zakaria and Sander Berge

          2 clubs have declared interest in Joe Willock, hence the stalling on a move to Newcastle and is part of the stalling of Willock to Newcastle but at this point a deal has been agreed in principle. It should happen.

          Maddison bid expected.

          1. In your opinion, do you think we’ll wait on MO up to the end of the window before pursuing alternatives (Madison)?

  7. What a waste of time like Brighton Sheffield had no need to sale and weren’t going to budge on the fee but instead of making multiple slightly improved bids it might have been better if we had given them a take it or leave it offer a while back giving us more time to work on other targets no??

  8. I’m amazed at the amount of vitriol aimed Ramsdale’s way to be honest (“three time loser” etc). I can see folks taking issue at the price (find it amusing that his biggest detractors go for the outlying estimates 35m) rather than the more commonly quoted 20m) but the lad clearly has quality. First choice quality for Arsenal? Time will tell but if we do sign him I hope fans will give him a chance.

    Honestly our keeper situation has become toxic and if I was a young promising keeper, the Emirates would the last place I’d want to go. Which is a pretty pathetic state of affairs.

    1. Meant to say 25m, not 20m lest someone think I’m guilty of the same thing I’m accusing others of…

    2. TBF if you was a young promising footballer in any position the Emirates is the last place you would want to go .
      Now thats what you call a pathetic state of affairs

        1. Pat, that is why it is good practice to bring players up through the Club. They develop a bond with the Club and each other, become fans if you like, embedded in the ethos and are thus harder to prise away.

    3. Spot on. At its core, I guess it’s just a personality difference. Some are naturally drawn to optimism, others to pessimism; they both have their evolutionary advantages…

      Live and let live (unless you’re a spurs fan).

    4. can you give me some examples of the etc? as it’s hard to argue with the first part, but I’m sure you have whole host of other specific examples of unsubstantiated criticisms being directed his way that I would likely disagree with…just wondering

  9. Our fan base has vitriol down to a fine art Voyageur.

    And to think AFTV was accused of being negative for commercial gain.

    If we were paid for negativity on J A a whip round would buy the bloody club.

    1. I don’t doubt we all want the same thing AJ – a winning side at the Emirates. It just surprises me that some folks think the best way to get there is to rip apart any player that they decide isn’t good enough even before they’ve kicked a ball for us!

      1. You know what Voyageur, I can’t wait for the time we are all actually “celebrating together” once again as you’re right – we all want the same for our great club.

        I do accept however, of late “patience” is being tested almost as never before – extreme frustration are the words I think.

  10. Wonderful, all these supporters trying to save Kroenke’s money. Truth is we are only one Leno injury away from a disastrous goalkeeping situation. How can we have come to a situation where Runarsson, RUNARSSON FFS! will be on the bench at Brentford, ready to step in, should Leno suffer injury, or be sent off. I am supposedly in a minority in believing Ramsdale to be way better than the Naysayers believe and that for the sake of £5m or £7m we would have solved our immediate keeper problems.

    1. Alban Lafont, top keeper, can’t believe this guys not been mentioned just recently signed full time at Nantes, decent offer comes in who knows, this keeper is tall, opposing style, can play out from the back comfortably, proper quality and still young.

    2. Yeah blow twice the amount on a player the usual Arsenal way and then complain later and blame club for not spending enough money. That is exactly what we have been doing and look where it has got us. It should be about spending money on right player and right position not just keep handing money to other clubs just to satisfy fans that we are spending big.

  11. Alban Lafont, top keeper, can’t believe this guys not been mentioned just recently signed full time at Nantes, decent offer comes in who knows, this keeper is tall, opposing style, can play out from the back comfortably, proper quality and still young.

    1. In the midst of a wave of negativity it’s good to record your constructive comments concerning a very impressive young keeper who would be an excellent long term recruit.

    2. Cuppers, there are a good few out there, overseas and in the lower leagues. You have identified Lafont and aren’t being paid to be an Arsenal scout. As strange as it may seem now, once upon a time, independent amateur scouts would send potential targets to clubs like Arsenal and they might follow up with a professional scout. However, Arsenal doesn’t appear to have a scouting network at the moment. Maybe Lafont’s statistics haven’t hit the right person’s data base yet, or he has the wrong agent?

      1. There’s already one in our books, mate. Arthur Okonkwo.

        If he hasn’t got enough quality in him, the club wouldn’t have gone great lengths to secure him on a long-term contract this summer. Maybe, we can make him the No.2, instead of him being our current third-choice GK.

        Guy made a mistake. So what? Every GK have at least one in them during their professional career. This guy happened to make one on his debut. No big deal. We can put him in the starting XI in the cup games and see how the lad responds. Taking a risk with him is just as same as taking a risk with any other GK we may sign this summer.

        1. Making a howler on his first team debut could actually be the making of him. Things don’t get worse. If he can confront and power on through this nightmare he’ll come out stronger and more truly self confidant.

  12. You’ll may read in tomorrows papers that we are in for Neto as an alternative. Has he ever a been a first choice goalkeeper? Plus he’s not in the first flush. looks as if we’re going with Leno again this coming season and whoever else we can get in at minimal cost. Hang on to your seats it’s going to be a bumpy ride!

  13. I’ve been a loyal supporter for over 20 years however the recent ESL fiasco has left a sour taste in terms of supporting the club for its values, for what it stands and what it means to us supporters. The Board has a lot to do to repair the damage. However given we’re out of Europe (so lack of potential revenues) and considering we’ve already spent £70m, that’s a good start in my opinion to slowly build the club back up.

    Everyone likes to see a fast turnaround in transfers and activities during the window, but it is not that easy. So many factors and considerations go into each transfer – and whilst we would all like some of the players to leave, it is not easy and takes a couple of years (4 windows at least to grow and build a team). Arteta has had 3 windows and I’m prepared to give him another 2 to have a team that is more suited to his style of play.

    Ideally I’d like to have seen the back of Willian, Kolasinac, Bellerin, Elneny, Runarson and Xhaka too but let’s not forget we’ve seen a whole host of players leave – Mustafi, Sokratis, Ozil etc. only 6 months ago. These things take time.

    I understand that we are in the market for a goalkeeper, a midfielder and a forward. I also understand that the top targets for these positions are Ramsdale, Maddison and Abraham. That will cost Arsenal a further 120-130mil and if the Board are willing to do that and spend c200m in a window when we don’t have European Football on the back of Covid, I would think it signals the start of a new era in the club.
    I personally like Ramsdale, Maddison and Abraham – top blokes too who will fit right in to the club and its always great to have some home grown young English talent in the team. All have serious potential to do exceedingly well.

    If they came in, I’d expect Lacazette to leave (last year of his contract) and also for Runarson to leave as well. I understand Bellerin is seeking a move to Inter who have a lot of money to spend following sales of Lukaku and Hakimi alone fetching over £150mil. I think Arteta will use Chambers and Cedric at RB with Tierney/Tavares at LB. This means Bellerin and Kolasinac might be moving out. If we can get £20mil for Bellerin and £7mil for Kolasinac (signed for free) then that’s good business. Lacazette could go out on a cut price deal of £20mil given he’s in his last year but if we can get £45-50mil for these 3 players along with Willock’s sale thats transfer fees in of £75mil enabling the Board to use proceeds for the acquisition of Ramsdale, Maddision and Abraham.

    The team then looks really young, dynamic and quite different to a couple of years ago.

    A realistic team below (assuming we can bring Ramsdale/Maddison/Abraham), and sell (Runarson/Bellerin/Kolasinac and Lacazette)

    GK (Leno/Ramsdale)
    WBR (Chambers/Cedri)
    DC (White/Gabriel/Mari/Holding)
    WBL (Tierney/Tavares)
    DM/MC (Xhaka/Toreira/Partey/Sambi/AMN/Elneny)
    AMR/AML/AMC – (Auba/Saka/ESR/Willian/Martinelli/Nelson/Maddison)
    ST – (Abraham/Nketiah)

    To be honest that is not a bad team at all – lots of young players with potential and if Arteta can get them playing with drive and purpose – we could build a core team here.

    My preferred start XI post the Sep international break once these players in place would be,

    Subs: Ramsdale/Cedric/Holding/Xhaka/AMN/Martinelli/Auba


    I’d be happy with that squad/bench for this season. Ideally next season we can move on Willian/Elneny/Auba/Nketiah/Mari and potentially Cedric as well as Xhaka (albeit signing a new contract this season). There will be more room to get some top players if we can get back into Europe. The rest of the squad is quite young and exciting!

  14. Re the MARTINEZ “what if” debate, it’s amazing how many still wish to rake over old ground just to score “what if” points , when the REALITY, is that whatever anyone says, he is gone and “ain’t never coming back. Not nowhow!”

  15. Have utterly dysfunctional Arsenal have missed a trick? We have been linked, among others to Newcastle’s Freddie Woodman. Anyone who saw his performance against the Hammers will agree that he looks pretty decent. Was it beyond the wit of Edu and co, to include him in the deal to sell Willock. Since that deal has only just been concluded, it post-dates our decision to pull out of the Ramsdale negotiations.

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