Aaron Ramsdale’s coaching ability has been hailed by a former coach while others have been bigging the Arsenal man up.
It’s no great claim to state that Aaron Ramsdale has been Arsenal’s signing of the season.
The goalkeeper arrived at the club with many fans questioning his signing, given he had already been relegated three times.
Ramsdale wasted no time making them all eat their words and, at the first opportunity, Mikel Arteta yanked Bernd Leno from the starting lineup and Ramsdale hasn’t looked back since.
But it’s not just on the pitch Ramsdale’s presence is felt. He is apparently quite adept at coaching.
“We didn’t think we’d signed a future England goalkeeper,” Nick Cox, who is head of Manchester United’s academy and signed Ramsdale as a teenager for Sheffield United after he was released by Bolton, told BBC Sport.
“We didn’t know too much about him, but we needed a keeper and he came on trial before we offered him a two-year scholarship.
“In the first year, he found it tough. We actually thought it might be too tough for him, so we got him to coach the younger academy groups on Tuesday nights. The thinking was ‘if this doesn’t work out for him as a scholar, we need to prepare a future for him’ so we got him coaching.
“He may not even know that was the reason, but he was a brilliant coach.
“By the end of the first year, he started to excel because he was coming back after training and working on his own with the goalkeeper coach.
“Pathways to the top are rarely a straight line and his career was one of overcoming setbacks.
“So, he has three relegations on his CV and he had to deal with an £18m price tag at Sheffield United where some fans were negative towards him,” Cox adds.
“But right from the start when he was released by Bolton, he’s found a way to improve, deal with setbacks and prove people wrong. He’s in love with football, is bubbly and enthusiastic, but he has a steely resilience.”
Jason Tindall, number two at Newcastle, was part of the managerial team that signed Ramsdale at Bournemouth.
“He’s an outstanding character and rises to the big occasion,” Tindall said. “He deserves where he’s got to now, because the journey has not been easy.”
Mikel Arteta was also asked about Ramsdale in his pre-Southampton press conference this weekend. The shot-stopper was recently voted Arsenal’s Player of the Month for the second month in a row.
“The day I spoke with him for the first time on the phone!” Arteta replied when asked when he first noticed Ramsdale’s character.
“That is when I realised he had a special personality and was going to fit in really well with what we are trying to do, and the way we want our players to behave.
“That would be good [if some attackers start to win Player of the Month now] – if the attackers are making us win football matches that would be very welcome.”