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Arteta praises ‘exceptional’ Ramsdale ahead of West Ham clash

Arteta praises ‘exceptional’ Ramsdale ahead of West Ham clash

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has praised the impact and development of goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale ahead of their Premier League game against West Ham United on Sunday.

Ramsdale joined the Gunners in 2021 and wasted no time establishing himself as the first-choice goalkeeper, ousting Bernd Leno who moved to Fulham to reignite his career.

Before joining Arsenal, Ramsdale was relegated twice with Bournemouth and Sheffield United, prompting doubts about his ability to feature for the big clubs.

Ahed of his side’s crunch clash against their relegation-battling local rivals, Arteta praised Ramsdale’s rise to prominence with the Gunners.

“He has been really, really good and probably against the odds,” Arteta told the Guardian. “Because when you look at his past and where he was coming from, he got relegated twice, it was difficult to imagine it. 

“But we saw he had that character, charisma, and personality to play for our club, and he had the potential qualities to feed into our way of playing. When you see the development he had in the past two seasons, I think he is exceptional.”

The 24-year-old shot-stopper has been one of the standout performers in Arsenal’s title-chasing campaign keeping 12 clean sheets in 30 appearances.

Despite conceding twice in the battle at Anfield against Liverpool, Ramsdale still proved decisive in the latter stages, denying Mohamed Salah and Ibrahima Konate to ensure the Gunners claimed a point in Merseyside.

The England international has come a long way from suffering online abuse before playing for the Gunners, and Arteta commended the goalkeeper for proving his doubters wrong.

“That abuse was happening just before he played his first game,” Arteta added. “You haven’t even played and you’re getting that abuse. 

“So you need to separate that, understand where it’s coming from, and now start to do your job. It was tough – he needed some support, and we had to protect him, but he was ready to handle that.”

Ramsdale will once again take his place between the sticks when Arsenal travel to east London at the weekend, looking to consolidate their place at the Premier League summit.

With just six points separating them from reigning champions and title rivals Manchester City who also have a game in hand, Arteta’s side can ill afford any slip-ups at this stage of the season.

Having seen their seven-match winning run come to an abrupt end last weekend, Arsenal will be keen to return to winning ways against the Hammers.

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