‘Phenomenal’ Aaron Ramsdale will be England number-one ‘sooner or later’ – David Seaman

News Desk
David Seaman doing punditry at Euro 2020

David Seaman believes Arsenal goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale has what it takes to become Gareth Southgate’s first-choice goalkeeper for England.

Arsenal sit five points clear at the top of the Premier League and their exciting attacking players have drawn plenty of plaudits for what has seen an unlikely title tilt become a season in which Mikel Arteta’s side are now favourites to lift the trophy.

But Ramsdale has also shone, keeping 11 clean sheets as an ever-present in a campaign which is shaping up to be remembered as the first time Arsenal won the league in 19 years.

Seaman won three league titles during a trophy-laden 13-year stint with the Gunners and now works part-time as a goalkeeping coach under Arteta’s regime.

“People forget he’s only 24,” Seaman told the PA news agency.

“So that is amazing for me because I didn’t join Arsenal until I was 26 – what he’s doing now at 24 is just phenomenal.

“There’s a sign outside the dressing room, written on the wall: ‘This is our time’ and that’s exactly what it is. It is their time right now. Never mind what’s gone on before, they’ve got a chance of making it their time.

“The mentality is right at the club now – I think that’s why you see all that excitement, especially after the last-minute goal to beat Bournemouth on Saturday.

“Everybody went crazy because they know what it means. Because there are many that haven’t been there before they’re so excited about it, but it’s about keeping that calmness as well.”

The 3-2 victory over the Cherries, having been two goals behind, was a thrilling afternoon at the Emirates Stadium.

Reiss Nelson came off the bench to score a fine stoppage-time winner, but Ramsdale also played his part as he kept the hosts in the game with two fine stops.

“He’s making big saves all the time,” Seaman, who will also be goalkeeper coach for the England team in this year’s Soccer Aid, added.

“There was one on Saturday at 1-0 that was world class. It wasn’t like a flying save or anything like that but it was a really technical piece of goalkeeping, which he did brilliantly, and he’s been doing that all season.

“There’s a confidence building in him and it is a calm confidence, because as a goalkeeper, you can’t be like flying here, there and everywhere and ranting and raving – although Peter Schmeichel made a good career doing that!

“In my career I was totally the opposite, I was laid back and I wasn’t a shouter all the time, so there’s different ways and I think Aaron – he’s got a good mix and it’s his own mix as well.”

Seaman collected 75 England caps having made his international debut in 1988 – but Ramsdale is having to be patient in his attempt to establish himself as Gareth Southgate’s number one.

Having made his bow in the 10-0 thrashing of San Marino in October 2021, Ramsdale has only been capped twice more – including a 4-0 defeat to Hungary in a Nations League clash at Molineux.

“Does he deserve more caps? Definitely,” said Seaman.

“He only has three and he needs to build on that because he has to be able to feel comfortable playing at that level.

“Jordan Pickford has been brilliant in an England shirt, you can’t doubt that. I wouldn’t imagine Gareth is thinking about having another number one at the moment.

“I imagine that Aaron will be number one at some stage and sooner or later will get that opportunity.

“It’s different levels. When he was at Sheffield United and Bournemouth a lot of people said that was a negative because he’d been relegated twice and I was like: ‘No, this is playing under pressure, like massive pressure, the pressure of getting relegated’.

“He’s got a different pressure now but he is a massive character, especially in the dressing room and on the pitch, he’s still making these big saves and his concentration levels are immaculate.”

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