Arsenal

Ramsdale must mimic Arsenal predecessor to save his career

Aaron Ramsdale should follow in the footsteps of Emi Martinez and revive his career at Aston Villa.

Last season’s Arsenal number one has been relegated to second fiddle since the loan arrival of David Raya and speculation about Ramsdale’s future has abounded. Perpetually linked with an exit, particularly to Chelsea, it ultimately seems unlikely that a move will materialise this month, with the Gunners keen to keep their squad together for their title challenge.

But where should he go? According to former Liverpool man Stan Collymore, West Ham would be perfect for him as their keepers aren’t getting any younger. However, he also mentions the intriguing option of Aston Villa.

Ramsdale must mimic Arsenal predecessor to save his career
Tom Weber
Tom Weber
Updated: 12 Jan 2024 16:51 GMT
7 min read
Aaron Ramsdale, Arsenal
© ProShots
Aaron Ramsdale should follow in the footsteps of Emi Martinez and revive his career at Aston Villa.

Last season’s Arsenal number one has been relegated to second fiddle since the loan arrival of David Raya and speculation about Ramsdale’s future has abounded. Perpetually linked with an exit, particularly to Chelsea, it ultimately seems unlikely that a move will materialise this month, with the Gunners keen to keep their squad together for their title challenge.

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In the summer it could – and should – be a different story unless the 25-year-old is happy to see his England hopes fade and his career stagnate. With Arsenal reportedly having all but officially triggered the buy-option in Raya’s deal, Ramsdale’s fortunes won’t improve next term, so he must leave in the summer.

But where should he go? According to former Liverpool man Stan Collymore, West Ham would be perfect for him as their keepers aren’t getting any younger. However, he also mentions the intriguing option of Aston Villa.

David Raya and Aaron Ramsdale
© ProShots – David Raya and Aaron Ramsdale
Ramsdale to Villa?
Unai Emery’s Villans are said to be in the market for a backup shot-stopper as they compete on multiple fronts. Ramsdale, of course, wouldn’t join Villa to remain second-choice. However, there is a very real scenario in which the Englishman does make the move to Birmingham.

Villa’s current number one is none other than Emi Martinez, who was recently honoured as the best goalkeeper in the world. The World Cup winner, who left Arsenal to get regular minutes, is at the peak of his powers and a sought-after player.

Frequently linked with a move to a more ‘elite’ side, Martinez may depart in 2024, though he won’t come cheap, of course. This would open up a spot for Ramsdale, who would be well advised to follow in his Gunners predecessor’s footsteps.

According to data experts SciSports, Aston Villa would be Ramsdale’s ideal next club. Using the data experts’ Career Advice tool, we can see that they give Villa a whopping club fit of 84 out of 100, the highest of any team. While Martinez is a more capable player right now, Ramsdale, who is still young for a goalkeeper, has the potential to match the Argentine’s skill level.

Moreover, SciSports’ data from last season, when Ramsdale was still the number one at Arsenal, shows that he and Martinez are fairly similar goalkeepers, which would make the transition between the two seamless and the potential exit of the World Cup winner easier to swallow. It’s a move that would make sense, but one that could obviously only come about if Villa sold their beloved shot-stopper.

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