Aaron Ramsdale has “lost his smile” after being dropped by Arsenal, according to the player’s father.
Ramsdale impressed in the Gunners’ title push last season and started the first four games of this campaign before being replaced by David Raya, who joined Arsenal over the summer from Brentford on an initial loan deal with the option to make it permanent.
England international Ramsdale, who signed a new, long-term deal at Arsenal in May, has appeared since in cup competitions but has failed to win his place back in the Premier League.
His father Nick says his son is struggling with the situation.
He told the Highbury Squad podcast: “It all seems to have come crashing down, and forget the money, you don’t go and play sport to earn money, you play sport because you love it.
“Aaron has lost that smile, at this moment in time, and it’s difficult to see. We all keep saying you need to keep smiling.”
Although it seems Raya is now Mikel Arteta’s first choice between the sticks, Nick says the Arsenal boss hasn’t really clarified that with the players.
He added: “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.
“Aaron’s got to live with that and he is living with that even though he’s not been told it. By anybody.”
Nick is adamant Aaron is not sulking, and is happy to knuckle down and win his place back. And in the meantime, he believes the Arsenal fans should get behind Raya for the good of the club.
He said: “David Raya is a great goalkeeper and it’s not his fault. He’s a lovely guy Aaron says, and Aaron is trying to help him settle in with the squad.
“It’s possibly the way it’s been done and not knowing the reason why. Aaron is working as hard as he can, to do his best for the squad, he’s upbeat and he’ll do everything for Arsenal to win the Premier League.”
Ramsdale also has his international spot to consider with England boss Gareth Southgate suggesting he will need to get a run of games with Arsenal to be in contention for a squad place at next summer’s European Championship in Germany.
‘We’re just going to have to see how it is. I had that conversation with him in the last camp,’ said Southgate, who included Ramsdale for this weekend’s double-header against Malta and North Macedonia.
“He’s still battling to be the number one 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.”
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