Aaron Ramsdale made his first Premier League appearance for Arsenal since his move in place of regular No.1 Bernd Leno who sat out the fixture on the substitutes’ bench
Arsenal goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale has outlined his target to keep Bernd Leno out of the side after keeping a clean sheet against Norwich on Saturday.
His inclusion in the starting XI came as a slight surprise, given Leno appeared to still be first choice for Mikel Arteta when Ramsdale was signed.
Arteta suggested the decision was merely just among the seven changes he made to rotate his squad, though Ramsdale is now seemingly in the driving seat for the No.1 jersey, and has no intentions of relinquishing it.
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“I signed to come into the team whenever that might have been,” Ramsdale told Sky Sports after the match. “I’ve got to carry on working on the training pitch and keep the competition with Bernd [Leno] and hopefully I can stay in the team and keep helping out.”
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s goal in the 66th minute gave Arsenal a much-needed three points after collecting nothing from their opening three matches.
Ramsdale certainly played his part in that, and he was delighted to help his team move off the bottom of the table.
“It was a great afternoon not just for me but for the team and the fans,” he said. “It was a tough start but we showed great character and great resilience. I loved every minute of it.
“The fans were amazing and never stopped singing and it showed. It’s been a great day all-round.
“We knew that every game is difficult and we knew that we needed to win.
“We’ve played two promoted teams and two of the best teams in the league and we wanted more points but we haven’t, but hopefully there are many more days like today.”
There is speculation surrounding Leno’s future at Arsenal already, with Arsenal’s £30million total outlay on Ramsdale a sign that they feel he is their No.1 for the long term.
Arteta played down the significance of Leno being dropped so soon after Ramsdale’s arrival.
The Arsenal boss said: “Like the other seven changes we made, they are to try and win the match. We have two fantastic goalkeepers and today we have gone for Aaron.”
It was a new look backline for Arsenal, as Arteta paired Gabriel with £50m signing Ben White and handed a debut to Takehiro Tomiyasu at right-back.
Youngster Albert Sambi-Lokonga started in central midfield alongside Ainsley Maitland-Niles, who only less than a fortnight ago was pushing for the exit door.
Martin Odegaard also featured, but it was captain Aubameyang who stole the headlines with his tap-in after Nicolas Pepe saw his first effort pushed onto the post before his rebound attempt eventually found its way to his team-mate to grab the winner.