Aaron Ramsdale is too good to be Arsenal’s backup goalkeeper and needs more minutes to have any chance of representing England at Euro 2024, says former Gunners shot-stopper David Seaman.
Ramsdale has found himself out of favour since Mikel Arteta opted to sign Brentford goalkeeper David Raya on a loan-to-buy deal in August.
The former Bournemouth and Sheffield United man started Arsenal’s first four games of the Premier League season, but his only minutes at club level have come in the EFL Cup since he lost his place for mid-September’s 1-0 win at Everton.
Though Arteta has talked about the prospect of rotating his goalkeepers, even suggesting in September that he could make mid-game changes between the sticks, many believe Ramsdale’s future now lies away from the Emirates Stadium.
Ramsdale’s father Nick made headlines last week by criticising the way Arteta handled Raya’s arrival, saying his son had been relegated to the role of “cup goalkeeper” with little communication from his manager.
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With Raya ineligible when Arsenal visit his parent club Brentford on Saturday, Ramsdale should get a rare chance to impress, but Gunners great Seaman says the England international needs to think about his long-term prospects.
“If Aaron goes in at the weekend, then he’s left out for the next game, then we know who Mikel’s number one is,” Seaman told BBC Radio 5 Live.
“It’s not good for Aaron. He’s a top-class goalkeeper, there’s no doubt about that.”
Ramsdale has won four senior England caps – the most recent coming in September’s 3-1 victory over Scotland – but his lack of regular minutes has done nothing to help his chances of taking Jordan Pickford’s number one shirt.
With Ramsdale harbouring hopes of becoming a starter at international level, Seaman says he needs to be playing regularly ahead of next year’s European Championships in Germany.
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“If he’s not playing, it’s going to affect his chances,” Seaman said. “Going into next summer, where Aaron is really pushing to become England goalkeeper… he needs to be playing.”
Although Seaman hinted Ramsdale may eventually have to consider a move, he does not see that happening in the next transfer window, adding: “I think January will be a bit too soon.
“It’s the game after this weekend, that’s where we will find a lot of answers.
“From what Mikel was saying when he brought Raya in, when he talked about rotating goalkeepers in games, which I still found a bit bizarre, we’ll have to wait and see after this game.
“Aaron’s too good to be a number two, that is for sure.”