Ramsdale says Arsenal fans have ‘kept him from feeling forgotten’ during ‘difficult’ time as Raya understudy

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Arsenal goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale says the club’s fans have stopped him from thinking he has been “forgotten” during a “difficult” time after spending the campaign as second choice to on-loan David Raya.

England international Ramsdale played every minute of Arsenal’s title challenge last season but was surprisingly dropped after four top-flight matches of 2023/24 and has only featured in the league when Raya has been ineligible against parent club Brentford.

“With the situation I’ve found myself in, they have been extra special,” Ramsdale said of the Gunners’ supporters.

“Even before games when my name is read out, I’ve heard the cheers. Warming up, people still want to give me a wave.

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“That’s kept me going more than I realised this season. Home and away, I’ve always felt the love, heard chants – and that’s not something the second goalkeeper will get at many other places.

“That’s been a massive boost for me. It could have been easy going through the season thinking you are forgotten about but it’s been special during a difficult time, with how much love they’ve shown.”

Ramsdale and Raya ‘shown respect’

Ramsdale appears to remain on course to be part of England’s squad for Uefa Euro 2024 in June after being called up for their friendlies against Brazil and Belgium this month, but the 25-year-old will almost certainly feel his future lies away from Emirates Stadium unless Mikel Arteta reinstates him regularly.

Raya, who endeared himself to fans by saving two penalties in Arsenal’s win on penalties over Porto in the Uefa Champions League round of 16, joined on a season-long deal for £3 million with an option to buy for £27m.

“Obviously, fans have their favourites,” reflected Ramsdale. “Personally, I think they’ve shown huge respect to both goalkeepers.

“They’ve supported whoever plays, and that shows great unity from the fanbase. They want the team to do well.

“The team comes first and I can’t thank them enough for what they do. What they do for the team in general is outstanding.”

Arsenal have kept four clean sheets in their last seven matches and top the table on goal difference above Liverpool with 10 matches remaining.

Reigning champions Manchester City, who Arteta’s side visit in their next match on March 31, are a point behind the top two.

Ben Miller
Ben Miller
Ben has more than 10 years' experience in sports journalism, covering two EURO tournaments, European club competitions, the Premier League, EFL and WSL and a variety of other major sporting events.

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