Pundit Michael Owen has weighed in on the David Raya and Aaron Ramsdale first-choice goalkeeper debate at Arsenal. The former Liverpool forward believes that both keepers will see game time depending on the nature of the challenge facing the Gunners.
The situation between the sticks in north London has become a popular topic in the early weeks of the 2023/24 campaign. It sparked real intrigue once the Brentford loanee was picked ahead of his teammate to start Arsenal's 1-0 victory against Everton on Sunday, September 17.
Many believe Ramsdale was unfairly dropped, having not done too much wrong. The England international started all of his side's Premier League games this season apart from the abovementioned fixture, keeping one clean sheet.
Addressing the situation, Owen said (via HITC):
"I think what you might see is Arteta pigeonholing one goalkeeper for a certain type of game, then another goalkeeper for a different type of game – the way he is talking, and his actions so far, would suggest that might be the way to go."
"But I do feel sorry for Ramsdale. He has done nothing wrong. All of a sudden now, after all of those great performances, his place is under pressure. I think they are both going to get an equal crack at the whip," Owen added.
Raya managed to keep a clean sheet on debut for the Gunners and was helped out by an Everton side that managed just one shot on target. It will be interesting to see who's preferred between the two against PSV Eindhoven on Wednesday, September 20.
Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta clarifies rotation policy applies to every position, after David Raya start
Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta clarified that he wishes to provide minutes to all players competing for a certain position. The Spanish tactician's comments came soon after David Raya started the Gunners' 1-0 win against Everton over first-choice keeper Aaron Ramsdale.
Providing Gabriel Jesus, who failed to start ahead of Eddie Nketiah in the abovementioned fixture, as an example, Arteta responded to questions over Raya's inclusion (via Goal):
"I haven’t had a single question on why Gabriel Jesus didn’t start. He has won more trophies than anybody else, including me, in that dressing room. I cannot have two players in each position and not play them. David has tremendous qualities, like Aaron has."
Ramsdale has recorded 83 appearances, managing 30 clean sheets for Arsenal since joining the North London outfit in the summer of 2021 from Sheffield United for £24 million (initial fee). One can hope for some clarity about the player's role in the coming weeks.