Leno returns for Arsenal against Leeds in Carabao Cup tie
AARON Ramsdale may be the undoubted Arsenal number one for now, but the summer signing is taking nothing for granted moving forward.
The 23-year-old’s arrival from Sheffield United divided fans to say the least, with many believing the Gunners had overpaid for a goalkeeper that had been relegated in back-to-back seasons.
However, after replacing Bernd Leno three games into the Premier League season, Ramsdale has quickly asserted himself as a fan favourite with some impressive performances.
Since he was drafted into Mikel Arteta’s starting XI against Norwich last month, Arsenal have picked up 14 points from a possible 18 and are unbeaten in those six matches.
As well as helping his new side to three clean sheets, Ramsdale’s ability on the ball has also been a huge boost in comparison to Leno’s more shaky distribution.
Leno is widely expected to be recalled tonight, when Arsenal take on Leeds United in the Carabao Cup at the Emirates. Ramsdale started the competition as the starting ‘keeper, but that has quickly switched back to the German, who is now the back-up in north London.
But Ramsdale has said he is under no illusions that he could lose his spot just as swiftly as he earned it with competition intense in that position.
“It could quite easily be taken away, just as quickly as I got in,” he told AFC Wimbledon’s official site. “For me, it’s to stay in the team week-by-week and keep producing good performances which the team and the staff are happy with.
“That’s all I’m bothered about. I’m loving the connection I’ve got with the fans there, like I did here, but ultimately, they are not the ones picking the team. If I keep the manager happy, which I’m doing now, I’ll be doing well.”
Arteta is set to make a number of changes for today’s tie with Leeds, having given his fringe players time to shine in previous rounds.
The Arsenal boss does have some injury concerns going into the game, having seen Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang both come off during the win against Aston Villa.
However, the Spaniard has confirmed that both strikers were taken off as a precaution, with Lacazette tired after his all-action display and the skipper suffering with a bout of cramp.
Kieran Tierney missed the 3-1 victory over Villa having suffered a bruised left ankle in the build-up with Arteta admitting he didn’t know how long the left-back would be out.
Granit Xhaka is the club’s only long-term injury, he looks set to be on the sidelines for a number of months and is targeting a return towards the new year.