Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has hailed goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale as an ‘exceptional’ player and a ‘great leader’ ahead of the Gunners’ clash with West Ham on Wednesday.
Ramsdale, who joined Arsenal from Sheffield United in the summer for £24 million, has been one of the standout performers for the north London club this season, keeping nine clean sheets in 15 appearances in all competitions.
The 23-year-old has also impressed with his distribution and communication skills, earning rave reviews from fans and pundits alike.
Arteta said he was delighted with Ramsdale’s impact and praised his personality and work ethic.
“He’s been exceptional,” Arteta said at his pre-match press conference. “He’s been really good on the pitch, but he’s been even better off the pitch. He’s a great leader, he’s very positive, he’s always trying to help his teammates and he’s always trying to improve himself.
“He’s been a very important signing for us and we’re very happy to have him.”
Arteta also revealed that Ramsdale had played through pain in Arsenal’s 3-0 win over Southampton on Saturday, after suffering a knock to his hip in the first half.
“He had a big knock on his hip and he was struggling,” Arteta said. “He wanted to continue and he did really well. He showed a lot of character and a lot of courage to do that.”
Arteta added that Ramsdale was fit and ready to face West Ham, who are currently fourth in the Premier League table, one point above Arsenal.
The Spaniard said he expected a tough game against David Moyes’ side, who have won four of their last five league games, scoring 14 goals in the process.
“They’re a very good team,” Arteta said. “They have a clear identity, they have a lot of quality, they have a lot of threat in different areas and they’re very well organised.
“They’re having a fantastic season and they deserve a lot of credit for what they’re doing. We know it’s going to be a very difficult game, but we’re looking forward to it.”
Arteta also confirmed that midfielder Granit Xhaka was available for selection after serving a three-match suspension for his red card against Manchester United.
However, he ruled out defender Ben White, who is still recovering from Covid-19, and winger Nicolas Pepe, who is sidelined with a knee injury.
“We have some players coming back from suspension, like Granit, which is good news,” Arteta said. “But we still have some players out with Covid and injuries, like Ben and Nico. We have to manage that and try to put the best possible team out there.”
Final Thoughts: Ramsdale’s Impact and Arsenal’s Tough Test Against West Ham
Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has heaped praise on goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale, who has quickly become a fan favorite at the Emirates Stadium since his summer arrival from Sheffield United.
Ramsdale has been in excellent form, keeping nine clean sheets in 15 appearances across all competitions, showcasing his shot-stopping abilities, distribution skills, and leadership qualities.
Arteta’s comments about Ramsdale’s character and work ethic off the pitch indicate that the 23-year-old has quickly integrated into the Arsenal dressing room and is playing a pivotal role in boosting the team’s morale and confidence.
Despite suffering a knock to his hip in the 3-0 win over Southampton, Ramsdale demonstrated his grit and determination by playing through the pain, a testament to his commitment to the team’s cause.
His availability for the upcoming clash against West Ham is a massive boost for Arsenal, who will need their goalkeeper to be at his best against one of the most dangerous attacking teams in the Premier League.
Arteta acknowledged that the game against the Hammers will be a challenging one, given their recent form and impressive performances. David Moyes’ side has been scoring goals for fun in their last few games, and Arsenal will need to be defensively sound and tactically astute to nullify their threats.
The return of Granit Xhaka from suspension is good news for the Gunners, but the absence of Ben White and Nicolas Pepe, who are recovering from Covid-19 and knee injury, respectively, will be a blow.
Arteta will need to use all his tactical nous and squad depth to find the right balance and field a team capable of getting a positive result against a top-four rival.
In conclusion, Arsenal’s resurgence under Arteta owes much to the impact of players like Ramsdale, who have brought a new sense of energy and optimism to the squad. The clash against West Ham will be a stern test of their credentials, and Arsenal will need to show that they can match the Hammers’ intensity and quality on the pitch.