Aaron Ramsdale’s dad blasts Mikel Arteta’s handling of replacing his ‘cup keeper’ son with David Raya – and says ex-No 1 has ‘lost his smile’: ‘He’s not been told it, by anybody… it’s been done wrong’
- Aaron Ramsdale signed a four-year contract extension back in May this year
- The Gunners former No 1 has only started seven games in all competitions
- What’s the story with Raheem Sterling? Listen to the It’s All Kicking Off podcast
Aaron Ramsdale’s father has lamented the loss of his son’s smile amid the England international’s seemingly losing fight for the No 1 spot at Arsenal.
Despite starring for the Gunners since his arrival in 2021, Ramsdale was relegated to second choice stopper at the start of the current campaign, after the arrival of David Raya on loan.
Since then, he has scarcely featured for the north London outfit, with Raya starting in both the Premier League and the Champions League.
The decision has been a subject of debate, with many fans preferring Ramsdale to their new signing, who has shown himself at times to be perhaps overconfident in possession, and has made a number of high-profile errors.
But now Ramsdale’s father has claimed that his son is struggling to stay positive as his exodus from the first team continues, and even criticised the way in which Mikel Arteta dropped the Arsenal stopper.
Aaron Ramsdale’s father, Nick, believes his son lost his ‘smile’ since losing his place in the Arsenal side
Ramsdale was replaced as Arsenal’s No 1 by David Raya at the start of the season and has played only seven games
Raya was signed on an initial loan from Brentford and has become first-choice at the Emirates
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‘Aaron is going to be the cup goalkeeper, and David Raya is going to be the main man unless something happens, an injury or a sending-off,’ Nick Ramsdale told The Highbury Squad.
‘Aaron’s got to live with that and he is living with that even though he’s not been told it. By anybody. You’ve got to give the guy a chance for God’s sake.
‘Even though the way it’s been done, in my eyes, it’s been wrong and we can talk about that but it’s the decision.’
He added: ‘Aaron’s lost that smile to when he was holding onto that ball at this moment in time. And it is difficult. It really is difficult to see him there and we all keep saying you need to keep smiling.’
Ramsdale himself has only spoken positively about his relationship with Raya to his credit, claiming the pair have a strong professional working relationship.
He spoke of the importance of both goalkeepers pushing one another to their best, with both helping each other to reach their highest potential.
And while his absence from the starting XI has not stopped him being called up to Gareth Southgate’s latest run of England games, the Three Lions boss did insinuate that the former Sheffield United keeper will need a run of games before the summer if he wants to go to Euro 2024.
‘We’re just going to have to see how it is. I had that conversation with him in the last camp,’ said Southgate.
England boss Gareth Southgate warned that a prolonged absence from the team could hamper Ramsdale’s hopes of going to Euro 2024
Ramsdale’s father was critical of the way in which Mikel Arteta went about replacing Ramsdale
‘He’s still battling to be the No 1 at Arsenal, and his profile and the way he can use the ball with his feet, we like and think is important.
‘But there is a reality as a keeper, if we get to March and he’s six months without playing regularly, then I’m never going to promise things that I couldn’t guarantee delivering. So he knows that, he’s perfectly realistic about that.’
With Arsenal already out of the Carabao Cup, following a 3-1 defeat to West Ham, the FA Cup seems the most likely source of games for Ramsdale, barring an injury or suspension to Raya.
He had equally been linked with a move away from the Emirates, although having just signed a long-term deal in May, it seems unlikely that he will be departing north London on a permanent basis any time soon.
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