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Arteta throws down challenge to Aaron Ramsdale and Bernd Leno

Arsenal v Norwich City 11 September 2021 London, Premier League, Arsenal FC v Norwich City, Arsenal goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale hugs his teammates before the match. Photo by Mark Leech. London UK

Arsenal did not pay £24m for Aaron Ramsdale so he could sit on their bench. He was purchased to replace Bernd Leno when the German leaves next summer, which he is set to do. They acted early and brought in a keeper who now has a full season to get used to being at the club before the role and responsibility are his.

During the week, it was reported that Ramsdale believed he would be handed a start against Norwich, Arteta seemingly not best pleased with Leno’s performance when Arsenal shipped five at City, not that you can really blame Leno for that.

Ramsdale had little to do against Norwich, but when he was called into action, he exuded confidence and assuredness.

“I think he was terrific,” Arteta said about Ramsdale. “It is not only what he did on the technical side, it is what he transmits, his energy, his chemistry with the backline, how he reacts, his body language… I think it was top.

“We have two fantastic goalkeepers and never forget what Bernd has done for us and what a good goalkeeper he is. I had to make decisions and I felt Aaron was the right one to do so and like in any other position, and that is what we decided today.”

Will he now be rotating his keepers? “I want to see how they perform,” Arteta replied.

“Now we need performances and we need to win football matches, so whoever gives better performances and whoever transmits more confidence and is more reliable will play.”

Based on the statement of ‘we need to win football matches’ and the fact that’s what Arsenal did on Saturday for the first time this season, I would expect to see Ramsdale keep his place at Burnley next weekend, which should give him a much tougher test than Norwich at the Emirates.

It’s also worth noting that Leno is one of only four of 12 players brought in under Unai Emery who is still in the first team.

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