Why Aaron Ramsdale started for Arsenal against Norwich not Bernd Leno

25th August 2021 The Hawthorns, West Bromwich, West Midlands, England EFL Cup Football, West Bromwich Albion versus Arsenal Aaron Ramsdale of Arsenal celebrates his team& x2019s first goal after 17 minutes 0-1 from Aubameyang Copyright: Graham Wilson
25th August 2021 The Hawthorns, West Bromwich, West Midlands, England EFL Cup Football, West Bromwich Albion versus Arsenal Aaron Ramsdale of Arsenal celebrates his team& x2019s first goal after 17 minutes 0-1 from Aubameyang Copyright: Graham Wilson

Earlier in the week, it was reported that Aaron Ramsdale believed he was in for a Premier League start against Norwich City this weekend, but why did he think that?

Bernd Leno of Arsenal FC during the UEFA Europa League match, Semifinal, between Villarreal CF and Arsenal FC played at La Ceramica Stadium on April 29, 2021 in Villarreal, Spain. Copyright: Sergio Ruiz
ESP: Villarreal CF – Arsenal FC. UEFA Europa League, Semifinal Bernd Leno of Arsenal FC during the UEFA Europa League match, Semifinal, between Villarreal CF and Arsenal FC played at La Ceramica Stadium on April 29, 2021. Copyright: Sergio Ruiz

A few days ago, The S*n claimed Aaron Ramsdale was telling people close to him that he believed Mikel Arteta would give him a chance in goal against Norwich City on Saturday, after Bernd Leno conceded five to Manchester City.

It looks like Ramsdale was right as he was indeed named in the Arsenal starting lineup for the game against Norwich.

It’s certainly going to be interesting to see what Arteta does with the goalkeeping position this season.

For a start, the lack of European football brings the decision into sharper focus. Arteta can’t rely on evaluating Ramsdale in European group stage fixtures, he has to make the call based on training and the occasional cup match.

In the very limited minutes we’ve seen from Ramsdale so far, it appears he’s strong in two areas Leno often draws criticism – playing out from the back and claiming crosses. So that gives him a shot at finding a way into the team.

But personally, I feel Leno is still the better pure shot-stopper, and that’s something that can obviously never be ignored with a goalkeeper. Arsenal didn’t concede five because of Leno, they arguably would’ve conceded more with someone else in goal.

Plus, whilst Ramsdale was overlooked for the current international break with England, Leno was starting and keeping a clean sheet for Germany. So it’s certainly not as if Leno is in a real rut by comparison.

With all that being said, it did seem possible that Arteta might opt to switch things up this weekend, particularly against a side like Norwich where he can perhaps afford to take a few more risks.