Former Arsenal midfielder Ray Parlour has urged Mikel Arteta to drop David Raya and play Aaron Ramsdale in goal against Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday, September 24.
The Gunners are set to face Tottenham in the North London derby in the Premier League at the Emirates. Both clubs have started the 2023-24 campaign in great form, having accumulated 13 points from their opening five games.
Aaron Ramsdale was Arsenal’s number-one goalkeeper throughout the 2022-23 season. The England international kept 14 clean sheets in 38 Premier League appearances, helping the club qualify for the UEFA Champions League. He also made five appearances this summer, keeping one clean sheet.
However, the 25-year-old was dropped for last weekend’s 1-0 win against Everton for summer signing David Raya. The latter kept his place in the starting XI against PSV Eindhoven midweek in the UCL, helping Arsenal win 4-0.
However, Parlour believes Ramsdale should regain his spot in the starting XI against Spurs. He said on talkSPORT (via HITC):
“I would go Ramsdale. I would go Ramsdale, but if Raya does come in again against Spurs, he won’t let them down. I think he is an excellent goalkeeper, really good with his feet. He can ping a ball, good shot-stopper, so I have no problem with either goalkeeper in goal, but I would stick with Ramsdale because I don’t think he has done a lot of wrong.”
Arteta reportedly prefers Raya as the Spaniard fits his system back with his exceptional distribution. It is unlikely he will lose his starting spot to Ramsdale anytime soon in the Premier League.
Arsenal legend Thierry Henry worried that Bukayo Saka may be playing ‘too many games’
Arsenal icon Thierry Henry recently praised Bukayo Saka for his excellent start to the season but admitted he was worried about the 22-year-old’s intense workload.
Saka has started the 2023-24 season in fine form, scoring three goals and providing four assists in seven appearances across all competitions. He was also on target midweek as Arsenal dismantled PSV Eindhoven 4-0 in the UCL.
However, the England international has now played in 85 consecutive games. Even though he has a good injury record, Henry was worried about a possible burnout, suggesting the right-winger should be occasionally rotated.
Henry said (via HITC):
“If you want to play late and put pressure on a team, then he can go as a wing-back. As we know, he can play high on the right or left. Behind the striker. Assist. Tackle. Pressure. Name it all. He has it all.”
“He will run the whole game – this is what he has now, an eye for a goal. This man can do it all. One thing you can say about him is that maybe he plays too many games and, somehow, he needs to. I will use the word ‘rotation’, miss some games. But I mean, this guy, is just outstanding.”
Saka is likely to be rotated during the Carabao Cup and FA Cup this season as Arsenal are in the running to win four competitions.