Aaron Ramsdale says he’s enjoying the opportunity to compete with Bernd Leno to be Mikel Arteta’s first-choice stopper.
Signed last month from Sheffield United for £24 million, the 23-year-old already has two clean sheets to his name after starting between the sticks against West Brom in the Carabao Cup and Norwich in the Premier League.
While he’s not sure if he’ll continue to get the nod over his German teammate, Ramsdale insists he’s ready to step in whenever asked.
“I don’t know what the manager is going to do,” said the 23-year-old.
“This [game against Norwich] might have just been a tactical tweak, so it is my responsibility to force him to carry on picking me, which is something I have to do on a daily basis.
“Me and Bernd will be very competitive in a good way, healthy and hopefully I can stay in the team.
“You have got to be ready to play as a goalkeeper. You don’t know when anything is going to happen. I’m ready every week.
“So now we have got to continue the competitiveness on the training ground and I’ve got to try and stay in the team and help them. There is a lot to carry on going and we will see where it takes us this season.”
While we don’t know for sure, we suspect that Arsenal have already activated a clause in Leno’s contract that extends his deal to the summer of 2023. In taking the decision – which buys us an extra window to extract money from a sale – we’re assuming the German’s camp made it clear he has no intention of committing for longer. With that in mind, it looks increasingly likely that Arteta will give Ramsdale the time he needs to fully assert himself in his new surroundings.
Right now, it’s the new boy’s job to lose.