Summer signing Aaron Ramsdale has been lauded as England’s best goalkeeper by two sources after making a mockery of those that criticised his transfer.
The 23-year-old arrived from Sheffield United last summer in a deal worth £24m. The move came as a shock to some after Ramsdale had suffered back-t0-back relegations with the Blades and Bournemouth.
Furthermore, the fact Emiliano Martinez had produced a truly superb season at Aston Villa left Arsenal open to further criticism. The Argentine was sold by the Gunners in 2020 and quickly established himself as an elite performer at Villa Park.
When Ramsdale’s move to Arsenal was ramping up, O’Hara said: “This literally sums them up, doesn’t it? It sums Arsenal up business wise. They got rid of Martinez, who’s a brilliant keeper, for what £20million or something?
“A snip, one of the best keepers last season and they’re going to sign someone from a relegated team for £30million! What are they doing?! Who is doing their business there? What are they doing? They are a mess.
“They’re signing a keeper that’s not as good as the keeper that they had. Aaron Ramsdale is not as good as Martinez. £30million? They need Antonio Conte as a manager, that’s what they need.”
Ramsdale makes a mockery of initial scepticism
But seven months on, Ramsdale’s transfer now has the hallmarks of a masterstroke.
Indeed, the stopper has produced several stunning displays to help push Arsenal into fourth spot. In his most recent outing against Leicester on Sunday, Ramsdale produced a world class stop to deny Harvey Barnes.
That prompted an audible “wow” from Foxes boss Brendan Rodgers, who described him as England’s best post-match.
“For me he’s the best English keeper at the moment,” Rodgers said of Ramsdale (via the Sun).
“He’s top. His progression since he came to Arsenal, he’s dealt with that really well. He’s got a really nice calmness to his game.”
Those sentiments were echoed by BBC Radio 5 Live pundit Clinton Morrison.
“It is a fantastic save from Aaron Ramsdale,” said the ex-Crystal Palace frontman. “It is top drawer. He is pushing Jordan Pickford to be England’s No1.
“Brilliant save and brilliant distribution. He is a top keeper.”
Pundit gush over Arsenal’s new undroppable
Meanwhile, Martin Odegaard has drawn universal acclaim from a trio of pundits with one telling Mikel Arteta what he must not do if Arsenal are to make top four.
The Norwegian playmaker, 23, impressed enough on loan from Real Madrid last season to earn a permanent move in the summer. Odegaard set Arsenal back an initial €35m, though his stellar showings this season would already suggest that was money well spent.
Via the Mirror, Micah Richards described the Norwegian as “excellent”. What’s more, he insisted manager Mikel Arteta simply must not drop or rotate Odegaard in the remaining matches.
Taking that approach could ensure Emile Smith Rowe has to get used to life on the bench. The pair are competing for the No 10 role, but per Richards, that is the route Arteta must take given Odegaard’s form.
“He is an excellent player,” said Richards. “What I like about him so much is that he gets into areas that people struggle to make an impact.”
“When you are in tight areas where you have to manipulate the ball, he is so composed and arguably, is in the form of his life in this Arsenal shirt. You can’t not play him with the form that he is currently in because he dictates the play.”