Football News

Jamie Carragher picks Arsenal goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale as his signing of the season

By Harry Edwards

Published: 16:05, 28 December 2021

Jamie Carragher has picked Arsenal goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale as the best Premier League signing of the summer.

When Ramsdale joined Arsenal in the summer, the Gunners were mocked by some rival fans as the goalkeeper had suffered relegation from the Premier League in consecutive seasons with Bournemouth and then Sheffield United.

The £24m man missed the first game of the season for Arsenal with his delayed signing and was on the bench behind Bernd Leno for their next two Premier League matches, in which the Gunners conceded seven goals against Chelsea and Manchester City. Ramsdale’s first appearance came shortly after in the EFL Cup against West Brom and since then he has been the club’s No.1.

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To say that change has been big for Arsenal would be an understatement. Since Ramsdale became their starting goalkeeper, the Gunners have moved from 20th to fourth in the Premier League, keeping nine clean sheets in his 16 league appearances so far.

Across the rest of the Premier League this season, only Manchester City’s Ederson has kept more clean sheets than Ramsdale but the Brazilian has played two more matches. And it hasn’t been a case of Ramsdale being protected by his defence, rather the opposite.

The Arsenal shot-stopper has made 55 saves in the Premier League so far this season, with a save percentage of 79.71% – the second highest in the Premier League among goalkeepers to play more than 90 minutes. He has also “prevented” 3.28 goals, with his Expected Goals Conceded at 17.28 while actually conceding 14.

And Carragher believes Ramsdale has been the signing of the season so far, ahead of the likes of Jose Sa – who is the only goalkeeper with a higher save percentage and more than 90 minutes played – Conor Gallagher and Emmanuel Dennis, who have been thriving at Crystal Palace and Watford respectively.

“I went for him because it was almost the biggest surprise to me,” Carragher explained on Monday Night Football.

“When they brought him in, I thought they were bringing him in as backup, and almost bringing him in because he was an English player for the quota.

“He hadn’t impressed me, certainly in his Premier League time at Sheffield United and Bournemouth. And it’s not just the saves he’s made. He’s a personality and a character.

“Already to go into a dressing room at Arsenal, yes there are young players in there, but it’s still a huge club. Going into Arsenal as a young lad, a goalkeeper.

“I think he’s got a presence about him that I didn’t see that he had and I think he’s had a big impact on the team.”