Mikel Arteta explains how Aaron Ramsdale convinced Arsenal to spend £30m on him despite suffering back-to-back relegations
- Arteta says Ramsdale rise 'against the odds'
- Praises 'presence' and 'energy'
- Keeper a key part of title challenge
WHAT HAPPENED? Speaking ahead of Arsenal's trip to West Ham on Sunday, Arteta lavished praise on his goalkeeper. Despite suffering back-to-back Premier League relegations with Bournemouth and Sheffield United, the Arsenal boss revealed that Ramsdale's character stood out to the Gunners even in those difficult seasons.
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WHAT THEY SAID: When asked when he decided to sign the young goalkeeper, Arteta explained: "When we played against him. He's been really really good. Probably against the odds. Because when you see where he came from after getting relegated twice it was difficult to imagine it. But was saw that had that character, that charisma, that personality to play for our club. And he had the potential and the qualities to fit into our way of playing.
The first day I was on the phone with him, I said 'let's do it'. Because you have that feeling, you sense it. Mentally, any question you ask him, he's ready for it. He has no fear, he just looks at the challenge ahead of him."
THE BIGGER PICTURE: Ramsdale has been exceptional and a key part of Arsenal's title challenge this season, also breaking in to the England squad. Arteta will be banking on his keeper's mental resolve as the title race looks set to go down to the wire.
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WHAT NEXT? Arsenal take on strugglers West Ham and Southampton in the next two weekends before travelling to the Etihad on April 26 for that huge clash against Manchester City.