It’s hard not to love Aaron Ramsdale. A few eyebrows were raised when the Gunners spent £30 million ($38m) to bring him to the Emirates, on the back of successive Premier League relegations with Bournemouth and Sheffield United, but the Englishman has risen to the challenge over the past two seasons, becoming a firm favourite with the fans in the process.
Football is an unforgiving game though, and Arteta has shown typical toughness in pushing the club to sign Raya this summer. It might seem heartless, but expect to see the Spaniard usurp Ramsdale as Arsenal’s No.1 this season. The numbers don’t lie.
Raya registered the best save percentage in the Premier League last season and also comfortably bettered Ramsdale’s post-shot xG minus goals allowed numbers – the latter being the most reliable, numerical indication of shot-stopping ability.
The data also suggests Raya is a better distributor. He completed 39.3 percent of his passes over 40 yards last campaign, while Ramsdale only managed 25.4%. In addition, Raya is a superior ‘sweeper keeper’, averaging more offensive actions outside his penalty area than Ramsdale.
All of this points to the same conclusion: Ramsdale’s days as the Gunners undisputed No.1 are over. He will still contribute, with Arsenal primed to play more games than they have previously under Arteta if all goes to plan, but Raya is likely to start more Premier League matches.