Aaron Ramsdale: From Relegated to Celebrated

Ramsdale signed for Arsenal F.C. in the summer 2021 / Image credit: Sky Sports

Aaron Ramsdale is a remarkable goalkeeper. His wonder save against Leicester City the other day is the most recent indicator of a player in good form on the rise. Given that he is the man of the moment between the goalposts, let’s take a look at his story: where he came from, how he’s doing and where he could be headed.

Where Did Aaron Ramsdale Come From?

Aaron Ramsdale joined Sheffield United in 2013, after spending much of his youth career at Bolton Wanderers. From Sheffield United, Ramsdale joined Bournemouth in 2017 for a fee of around $1M. He then endured a couple of loan spells with Chesterfield FC and AFC Wimbledon, always returning to Bournemouth, but never increasing in market value.

In the 2019-20 season, Ramsdale finally got the chance to start in goal for Bournemouth. Unfortunately, that campaign, as well as the following season – with Sheffield United – ended in relegation from the Premier League. Yet, despite the poor results, Ramsdale was awarded Player of the Year distinctions at both Bournemouth and Sheffield United.

How’s He Doing Now?

Since Ramsdale joined the Arsenal starting XI, the Gunners are undefeated, winning seven of nine games. The whole back five – defenders plus goalkeeper – deserve credit. But Ramsdale’s bravery has undoubtedly provided Arsenal’s base with some welcome solidity. After all, you don’t get nominated for EA SPORTS Player of the Month by chance.

To describe Ramsdale as“fearless” misrepresents the 23-year old because it undervalues his willingness to put his body on the line. Of course he must have some fear of injury – he is human – but he doesn’t let his instinct for self-preservation prevent him from throwing his body at crosses or smothering a one-on-one chance. In addition, Ramsdale has brought youthful exuberance and effervescent personality.

Soft factors are inherently difficult to quantify. But what the young keeper provides in technical ability and physical presence is clearly bolstered by intangibles that see him quickly becoming a cult hero among Arsenal fans. What’s more, he’s catching the eye of Gareth Southgate. 

Where’s He Headed?

Aaron Ramsdale will become England’s number 1 – it’s only a matter of time. After making the provisional lineup this summer, Ramsdale has once again been called up to the England senior squad. While Everton’s Jordan Pickford is still considered Southgate’s preferred goalkeeper, Ramsdale is knocking on the door with both of his lizard-gloved fists.

Bigger, stronger and with overall greater upside than his 27-year old compatriot, Aaron Ramsdale has come a long way in a relatively short time. For now, he needs to “keep [his] feet in the earth” and demand even more of himself. As they say, form is temporary, class is permanent.

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