Intimidating fans, joining the chants – Aaron Ramsdale’s journey to become Arsenal favourite

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Arsenal star Aaron Ramsdale has been one of the best goalkeepers in the Premier League this season

Ramsdale joined the club in the summer, signing for a reported £24million, a price that left a large section of the Gunners faithful bemused considering his background.

The young shot-stopper suffered back-to-back relegations from the Premier League with Bournemouth in 2019/20 and then Sheffield United last season.

Plenty of Arsenal fans cited the 23-year-old’s double relegations as proof that he wasn’t cut out for the highest level, ignoring the fact that he had been voted by the fans as the club’s player of the season on both occasions.

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The former England Under-21 international has had to fight to become a top-flight ‘keeper, enjoying loan spells in League Two with Chesterfield and League One with AFC Wimbledon before establishing himself at the Cherries under Eddie Howe’s stewardship.

A big personality, Ramsdale has often enjoyed joking with opposition fans, as seen during the Gunners 2-0 victory against Leicester City last month as he clapped along to some of their chants.

“I’ve done League Two and League One, so much worse (than Premier League fans)”, he told the Tubes and Ange YouTube channel.

“When you go there, they are gunning for you and there have been times where I’ve been coming, I’ll do the same stuff, like you say not being aggressive or I’m not telling them [explicit] or anything like that, I’m just joining in.

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Aaron Ramsdale makes a save from a James Maddison free kick during the Premier League match between Leicester City and Arsenal at The King Power Stadium. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)
Aaron Ramsdale makes a save from a James Maddison free kick during the Premier League match between Leicester City and Arsenal at The King Power Stadium. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)

“There are times where (they are chanting) ‘Ramsdale you are a [explicit], and I’m turning around and clapping, joining in with them and we’ve won or whatever and I’ll do this (tap) the badge. They’ll be waiting for me getting back on the bus.

“In League 1 there’s no barriers or security or whatever so I’m off, I’m on the bus as quick as I can.”

The youngster also reminisced that supporters told him he would never play for England.

“Yesterday (against Leicester earlier this season) there was ‘You’ll never play for England’,” he added.

However, this dream could very well become a reality in the coming fortnight given Three Lions manager Gareth Southgate included him in his squad for World Cup qualifiers against Albania and San Marino.

It is no surprise that Ramsdale has forced himself into Southgate’s thinking considering he boasts some of the best statistics amongst Premier League goalkeepers this season.

With five clean sheets from eight league outings, he boasts the highest clean sheet percentage (62.5%), remaining unbeaten in an Arsenal shirt.

The former Sheffield United starlet has also recorded the second-highest save percentage (86.2%) amongst ‘keepers in the English top-flight whilst also registering the highest post-shot expected goals per plus/minus per 90 minutes this term (PSxG+/-).

This statistic calculates the quality of the shot taken rather than just the quality of the opportunity (xG), meaning Ramsdale has conceded far fewer amount of goals than he should have based on how likely he was to save the shots he faced.

Effectively, the Gunners shot-stopper has saved around 0.27 goals per game, with Chelsea’s Edouard Mendy coming the closest at 0.26 per 90 minutes.

Still, at just 23-years-old, Ramsdale is by no means the finished product, he will likely suffer a downturn in form at some point in the near future, something that Arsenal fans will need to be patient with.

Source by Football London

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