With Aaron Ramdale’s impressive form for Arsenal, Gareth Southgate was asked about the goalkeeper’s chances of taking the England number-one spot.
England announced their squad for the upcoming November World Cup qualifiers on Thursday, with Aaron Ramsdale receiving another call-up from his country.
Ramsdale was first involved under Gareth Southgate in June, joining the England squad for their pre-Euro 2020 friendlies and remaining with them throughout the actual tournament.
The goalkeeper dropped out in September, before returning over the October break. His form since joining Arsenal has made him impossible to ignore.
In that form, Ramsdale is arguably England’s best-performing goalkeeper. Yet he’s still waiting on his senior international debut.
Speaking in his press conference on Thursday, Southgate answered a question on how close Ramsdale is to the England number-one spot.
“Well, firstly, it’s great for him (to be called up again),” Southgate said. “This is the third squad he’s been in. He had the summer with us, we were impressed with what he did in the summer.
“He’s started very well with Arsenal. At this stage of the season, [that’s] still quite a small sample of games, but we’re really pleased with what he’s doing and the way he’s playing.
“His distribution with his feet is a particular bonus of the way that they play at Arsenal and the skillset that he’s got.
“So I think there’s a fight on. We’ve got competition for places and we need competition for places in every position. Aaron (Ramsdale) and Sam (Johnstone) are definitely providing that to Jordan (Pickford).”
Taking things step by step, it would just be nice to see Ramsdale getting a chance on the pitch over this break. We can worry about the permanent number-one spot later, the 23-year-old just needs to get going.
This seems like a particularly good opportunity, with England facing Albania and San Marino. Three teams in England’s group have scored more goals than Albania and San Marino combined, so it’s not a hugely risky time to introduce a goalkeeper.