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Mikel Arteta’s first look at Aaron Ramsdale hints at two-year Arsenal transfer chase

Aaron Ramsdale has quickly emerged as a key Arsenal player under Mikel Arteta, who caught his first glimpse of the England stopper almost two years ago in his first game as manager

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Mikel Arteta after Arsenal’s victory against Leicester

Aaron Ramsdale silenced his critics by putting in a stunning display for Arsenal in their 2-0 win over Leicester City – almost two years to the day that he lined up against the Gunners in their first game under Mikel Arteta.

The Spaniard took charge of the Londoners for the first time in a 1-1 draw with Bournemouth back on Boxing Day 2019.

Ramsdale was in goal for the Cherries that day, but is now Arsenal’s first-choice shot-stopper following his £30million transfer from Sheffield United this summer.

Despite criticism from fans and pundits alike over the move, it’s taken Ramsdale just weeks to dislodge Bernd Leno as the Gunners’ number one.

He underlined his credentials by producing a world-class performance against the Foxes on Saturday to make it five clean sheets in his eight games so far for Arteta’s side.

Aaron Ramsdale has quickly won Arsenal fans over following his £30m summer transfer

And the latest in a string of commanding displays from the star is certainly beginning to make Arteta’s desire to get a deal done for Ramsdale this past summer look like a masterstroke.

Leno has been a steady player for the Gunners since his 2018 switch from Bayer Leverkusen, but there were some fans who felt as though Arsenal should have held onto Emiliano Martinez, who was offloaded to Premier League rivals Aston Villa in a £20m deal last summer.

Martinez had impressed during a short stint as first-choice in Leno’s absence towards the end of the 2019/20 season.

But any debate over the Gunners goalkeeping situation has now seemingly been put to bed.

It’s still early days, but it’s looking very much like Ramsdale is indeed the ideal option, with his distribution skills adding an extra dimension to Arsenal’s approach of building from the back.

It remains to be seen just how long Arteta has had his sights set on Ramsdale since he opposed him on his maiden game as Arsenal boss.

HAVE YOUR SAY!Arsenal fans – have you changed your mind on Aaron Ramsdale? Comment below

Mikel Arteta came up against Ramsdale in his first game as Arsenal boss almost two years ago

When you take into account the Spaniard’s meticulous approach, it wouldn’t be a surprise if he has been a long-term target for the north London outfit.

Arteta was defiant in his pursuit of Ramsdale – resisting technical director Edu’s attempts to target an alternative transfer target given Sheffield United’s bloated demands for the England ace.

And he wasn’t put off by social media unrest over the deal, with Arteta backing Ramsdale to win the Gunners fanbase over from day one.

“I think they’re [Arsenal fans] going to love his personality, his character, the quality that he has a goalkeeper and what he’s going to offer,” said Arteta in the wake of Ramsdale’s arrival.

“He has a huge, huge potential. It’s what we want, it’s always been the case a this club, we will have two different profiles and two different stages in their career. Aaron [Ramsdale] is a talented young keeper with huge experience and has international experience for England.

“He will bring competition and that’s what we want to create – healthy competition, quality competition in every position. We identified Aaron as the ideal option.”

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