Mikel Arteta insists Arsenal fans are going to ‘love’ Aaron Ramsdale after the goalkeeper received a backlash on social media ahead of his looming £30million move to the Emirates.
The Gunners are on the verge of completing a deal for the 23-year-old shot-stopper, who has already undergone a medical, with just the final details of the transfer waiting to be signed off.
But the mammoth fee for a player who has suffered successive relegations from the Premier League with Bournemouth and Sheffield United has prompted a degree of concern, particularly with other areas of the squad in need of strengthening.
That boiled over into outright anger following Arsenal’s poor start to the new season, losing to newly promoted Brentford, with Ramsdale inundated with vitriolic messages on social media.
The messages became so bad that the goalkeeper was forced to limit comments on his Instagram page, though Arteta is convinced he will prove the doubters wrong if given time.
Asked about the criticism Ramsdale has already faced, and why Arsenal fans should be excited, Arteta replied: ‘I think they’re going to love his personality, his character, the quality that he has as a goalkeeper and what he’s going to offer.
‘I think give him some time, he’s a young goalkeeper as well but with a huge, huge potential.’
Asked if Ramsdale could feature on Sunday against Chelsea, Arteta continued: ‘We will see. There is still some paperwork getting done. He had his medical almost done as well, so there are a few things still with Sheffield to be resolved so we’re going to have to wait.’
On the benefits of having two excellent goalkeepers competing for the number one spot, Arteta added: ‘Well it’s what we want, and it’s always been the case at this football club, it’s nothing new.
‘We’re going to have two different profiles, two different stages of their career. Aaron is a really, really talented young goalkeeper with already a huge experience and an international for England.
‘He’s going to bring competition, which is what we want. Create competition, healthy competition, quality competition in every position, and we needed a goalkeeper and we identified Aaron as the ideal option.’
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