Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta believes Aaron Ramsdale is ready to be England’s first-choice goalkeeper at this year’s World Cup in Qatar.
Jordan Pickford has made the position his own under Gareth Southgate for the past four years after starring at the 2018 World Cup, but he was ruled out of England’s forthcoming internationals against Italy and Germany with a hamstring problem.
Ramsdale will represent him in those games and Arteta believes the 24-year-old’s performances over the past 12 months at club level have boosted his confidence, making him a worthy candidate to take over the gloves from Pickford at the World Cup.
“I think Aaron is very confident anyway! It would be a good reward for him for what he has done,” Arteta said ahead of his side’s trip to Brentford on Sunday.
‘I hope it’s him [picked for the World Cup]. I think it would be great for us and Aaron. He showed what he can do last year. We will observe and wait for this decision.’
Ramsdale started last season as Arsenal’s second-scorer behind Bernd Leno in the pecking order but quickly moved ahead of the Germans in the pecking order, keeping 12 clean sheets in 34 league games for the Gunners in 2021. 22
He has also started the current campaign on a strong note, keeping two clean sheets in six games so far, and was particularly impressive in Arsenal’s 2-1 comeback win over Fulham in August.
However, Pickford was in good form himself and managed to hold Liverpool in check in the Merseyside derby to give his side a point earlier this month.
The Everton keeper also has experience on his side, having won 45 caps for England while Ramsdale has only represented his country three times.
The latest of these was England’s surprise 4-0 defeat by Hungary in the Nations League in June, but Ramsdale look set to get a chance to put that night behind them in the next international break.