Aaron Ramsdale ‘too comfortable’ as fresh reason given for Arsenal star’s axe

Arsenal goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale had become “too comfortable” at the Emirates, reckons former Gunners midfielder Adrian Clarke. The 25-year-old was dropped for Sunday’s win over Everton, ending a long run in the side.

Ramsdale had started Arsenal’s previous 52 Premier League matches before the trip to Goodison Park. But Mikel Arteta saw fit to bring in David Raya for his debut.

Raya joined on loan from Brentford in August with an option to buy next summer. He only sat on the substitutes bench three times before being handed his opportunity against the Toffees.

Arteta has since defended his decision to drop Ramsdale and says it is the same as rotating an outfield player. He claimed he wanted to give Raya minutes ahead of a busy upcoming schedule.

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But Clarke believes part of the reason was that Ramsdale had become comfy not having any competition. He claims seeing Raya replace him on Sunday will only increase the levels of both players.

Clarke said on talkSPORT: “I think he’s looking to drive up standards, Aaron Ramsdale is maybe too comfortable in his own eyes. Because last season, Matt Turner didn’t provide legitimate competition for his place, so look, he’s brought in a guy who can push him now.

“And I think he’s saying to them both, ‘Look, outshine one another, show me who’s the number one’. And by the end of the season, I’m sure that Mikel will know in his own mind who he wants to have number one moving forward.

“I do think between now and January at least, we might see a bit of a shootout between these two, dipping in and out of games. I kind of understand why, because they’re both pretty evenly matched.”

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Arteta also revealed that he regrets not having substituted his goalkeeper in two previous unnamed games. Clarke says the Spaniard is looking at all ways possible to see out matches.

He added: “I don’t see it as anything sinister, honestly, I genuinely don’t. I think that Mikel Arteta wants to use them both, he’s got two really good goalkeepers.

“I don’t think there’s much between them if I’m honest. And I think he’s thinking about, and he talked about this after the game, he said he’s got a couple of regrets about not changing his goalkeeper during a game, a couple of times last season to close things out, I think was the context of it.

“A little bit like he used to put Rob Holding on – extra defender towards the end of the game – he said, ‘I thought about doing it with a goalkeeper before, and I haven’t’.”

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