When Arsenal plays Brentford this evening, goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale will be relieved to be back in Premier League action at last. He will, however, secretly know that his stint back in the starting lineup will only last one game.
David Raya will not be able to play against his parent club; Ramsdale will play at the Gtech Community Stadium. Ramsdale won’t have participated in a premier league game since September.
However, Mikel Arteta has indicated that Raya is his top choice going ahead with his most recent selection. Since taking Ramsdale’s place at Everton more than two months ago, the Spaniard has started the last 12 games in both the Premier League and the Champions League.
Raya hasn’t always shone in the spotlight; he has made a few well-known mistakes. However, he is fulfilling Arteta’s demands of his goalie, and Ramsdale might not be able to turn this around.
The England star has been limited to Carabao Cup action of late, a competition the Gunners crashed out of at West Ham at the beginning of November. Ramsdale will be hoping to send a message to Arteta with his performance in west London later today.
But even a starring display is likely to fall on deaf ears. Arsenal play Lens in the Champions League on Wednesday and Raya is almost certain to come straight back in for that match.
Ramsdale feels aggrieved to have lost his starting spot just months after signing a new contract. He has even had his dad, Nick, come out and fight his corner
Ramsdale senior spoke on The Highbury Squad podcast during the international break and revealed that Arteta had not told his son he would be dropped for the foreseeable future. He said: “Aaron is going to be the cup goalkeeper, and David Raya is going to be the main man unless something happens, an injury or a sending-off.
Arteta has not publicly stated that Raya is his No 1. He said in September that he would be rotating his goalkeepers as he sees them as no different to any other position on the pitch.
But actions speak louder than words and Ramsdale has been frozen out for the majority of matches since. One of last season’s PFA Team of the Year winners will be back in action today but it will only be a short-lived spell before returning to the bench in midweek.