Mikel Arteta has played down talk that Aaron Ramsdale could leave in January to further his chances of making the England squad for next summer’s European Championships.
Ramsdale has been restricted solely to Carabao Cup appearances since September after David Raya’s summer arrival from Brentford. This has seen him slide down the pecking order in the England goalkeeping department with Jordan Pickford the established number one and Sam Johnstone having started last month’s friendly against Australia.
The 25-year-old was called up for the November England camp in which they’ll look to book their place at Euro 2024 in games against Malta and North Macedonia. Manager Gareth Southgate did admit though that if Ramsdale’s minutes did not improve then his chances of making the squad for next summer’s tournament in Germany could be damaged.
“I think longer term, we’re just going to have to see how it is,” Southgate said. “I had that conversation with him in the last camp. We thought he did really well for us in Scotland. He’s still battling to be the number one at Arsenal, and his profile and the way he can use the ball with his feet, we like, we think that’s important.
“But there is a reality as a keeper, if we get to March and he’s six months without playing regularly, then I’m never going to promise things that I couldn’t guarantee delivering. So he knows that, he’s perfectly realistic about that. But for this camp, we thought it’s the right thing to stick with the guys we’ve had.”
Ramsdale has been heavily linked with a January move away from the Emirates, with Raya seemingly now established as number one. Speaking last month he admitted that he was concerned over.
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“For me I need to get back into my club team to keep getting picked [for England] and keep giving the manager a headache because if I’m not, then that’s an easier decision for him,” Ramsdale said. “It is [a worry], it is the first time I have found myself in this situation.”
The 25-year-old has been linked with a potential January move to Chelsea as a result. Arteta though insisted that he still has a role to play for the remainder of the season at Arsenal.
“Well, first of all my door is open to speak about any player,” he said when asked if he would consider letting Ramsdale go to get playing time ahead of the Euros. “We just want the best for our players and we try to do that, and we know the influence that we can have – sometimes positively, sometimes not so positively, towards them.
“We will always try to do our best to help them, but this is a team sport that needs 24 players that have to fulfil a role. And the role that you have in August, it might be very different to the one you have in March. So making early decisions, in my experience, is not something good at all and as well because the team has certain needs that has to be accomplished. And in order to do that you cannot do it with six, 10 or 14 players. It is impossible. So you need everyone and Aaron has a really important role in the team.”
Ramsdale only extended his contract with Arsenal in May in a deal that will last until 2026 with the option to extend by a further 12 months. He faces plenty of competition in the goalkeeping department for England with Nick Pope and Johnstone both pushing Pickford for the number one spot.