Paul Merson has named as Arsenal’s player of the season and admits that he was completely wrong about the goalkeeper.
Ramsdale moved to the Emirates in a £25million transfer last summer despite having just suffered back-to-back relegations from the Premier League with Bournemouth and Sheffield United, conceding a whopping 125 goals in the process.
As a result, some were sceptical that the 24-year-old would be an improvement on then Arsenal No.1 Bernd Leno but the England international has proven to be one of the signings of the season.
He kept 12 clean sheets in 31 games as Arsenal came agonisingly close to qualifying for the , with Ramsdale’s distribution and communication receiving particular praise.
‘Aaron Ramsdale has been exceptional,’ Merson told , as he selected the best player from each of the top six Premier League clubs.
‘He’s had a couple of shaky performances, but he’s exceeded expectations and has been outstanding in most of the games he’s played.
‘When Arsenal were chasing him around last year, I was sitting here wondering why they wanted a goalkeeper who’d let in more goals than anyone else in the last three years.
‘[Mikel] Arteta got it right here, and Ramsdale’s made me eat my words.
‘Bukayo Saka was a close second to Aaron Ramsdale and has been a revelation for Arsenal and Mikel Arteta. He’s been a threat in the final third and has enjoyed a great season.’
Ramsdale was one of six new players Arteta signed last summer for a total cost of £150m, and more signings are expected this summer with Manchester City’s Gabriel Jesus and Bologna’s Aaron Hickey heavily linked.
Speaking on the , Ramsdale said: ‘I think it’s going to be another interesting summer this one.
‘We’ll look to sign some players which will be good and obviously, when you’re playing in Europe and you’re playing in the Premier League, you do need very good squad depth.
‘Although we didn’t have a huge amount of players, whenever the players did step in, I never felt – and we never felt – that we were losing any quality or anything like that.
‘So I think something the manager did really well is that the ones who stayed and the ones who played, he knew he could rely on all of them.’
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