ARSENAL have completed the signing of goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale from Sheffield United on a ‘long-term’ deal.
Dozens of fans have slammed the reported £24million transfer – but the former England youth international CAN be a success at the Emirates.
It’s obvious why there’s been a negative reaction to the move: Ramsdale’s left a relegated club for one dominated by apathy, dismay and division.
The youngster comes with a big price tag and THREE relegations on his CV with Chesterfield, Bournemouth and the Blades – despite being just 23.
But Gunners fans shouldn’t be worried by these bleak stats – and should instead give Ramsdale the opportunity to show his obvious quality.
Sheff Utd supporters were in a similar position 12 months ago after paying £18.5m for the stopper, three-and-a-half years after selling him for £800k.
Ramsdale was under huge pressure to perform after succeeding the impressive Dean Henderson, who helped the Blades to promotion and a ninth-place Prem finish during his two seasons in South Yorkshire.
The ex-Bournemouth star initially struggled as United picked up just two points from their first SEVENTEEN games – the worst Prem start in history.
Although the team would suffer relegation, Ramsdale soon found his feet and enjoyed a superb second half of the season, taking home the club’s Player of the Year award.
He also bagged a spot in Gareth Southgate’s England squad for Euro 2020 ahead of rivals Alex McCarthy and Freddie Woodman.
Ramsdale achieved similar success in his final season at Bournemouth, winning the Supporters’ Player of the Year award as they were relegated.
Then manager Eddie Howe picked the youngster ahead of Asmir Begovic, displacing an ex-Chelsea star and experienced Prem campaigner.
Begovic went on to praise Ramsdale last month, telling talkSPORT: “He can become one of the best, especially in the country.
“He’s already proved that he can play at the highest level. He’s got a lot of potential still to fulfil.
“The more he plays, the more he’s going to progress… What he’s done over the last couple of years shows everyone the quality he has.”
Arsenal legend David Seaman has also backed Ramsdale to succeed, seeing comparisons with his arrival in North London 21 years ago.
The former England goalkeeper told talkSPORT: “I started getting a load of stick because the fans didn’t want me.
“They were all singing ‘Lukic is better than Seaman’ and ‘You’ll never play for Arsenal’.
“There are similarities and hopefully he will go on to have a very good career at Arsenal.”
Ramsdale has already overcome many hurdles to earn his big move – and it’s foolish to assume he’ll be happy being Bernd Leno’s understudy.
The German goalkeeper is yet to show his best at the Emirates and his new team-mate has got a great chance of snatching the gloves from him.
Ramsdale told Arsenal’s website: “Bernd’s done a fantastic job over recent seasons and I’m here to push him all the way and take his shirt.
“That’s for me to achieve and for him to keep in front of me… We all have different qualities and hopefully we can all merge together and form a great team.”
The reality is there’s no quick fix for Arsenal and their under pressure manager Mikel Arteta.
They just aren’t a great team right now, proven by their desperate performance against Brentford in their Premier League opener.
Champions League qualification is out of the equation for this season and even a top seven finish would be viewed as a success.
The Gunners are at their lowest ebb – making it the perfect time for a young, ambitious goalkeeper to break into the team and seize his chance.
Ramsdale arrives with a questionable CV, but he also brings hope of a brighter future for himself and his new employers.
Arsenal fans should expect him to become their new No1 in the near future as they slowly, but surely, re-join Europe’s elite.
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Source: The Sun