International Soccer

Aaron Ramsdale’s potential transfer destinations

Aaron Ramsdale has gone from the best goalkeeper in the Premier League to benchwarmer in the space of only a few months. Plausible dreams of usurping Jordan Pickford as England number one in time for Euro 2024 are now only a distant memory and his career has come to a standstill.

That Mikel Arteta has readily relegated the 25-year-old to second choice is bizarre and proof of just how committed he is to his vision and the project by bringing in David Raya. The Gunners have willingly disregarded a top class £30m stopper revered and voted for by opponents in last season’s PFA ballot, for one they will pay out £27m for because he is deemed a slightly better fit.

Arsenal are no worse off for having switched to Raya. But Ramsdale cannot continue like this. Still very young for a goalkeeper, the right move will reignite his career and could yet propel him into starting contention for England come the next World Cup in 2026.

But he has to move and it has to be this summer.

David Raya, Aaron Ramsdale

David Raya left Brentford to take Ramsdale’s place / Robbie Jay Barratt – AMA/GettyImages

It would be a turn up for the books if Ramsdale effectively swapped positions with Raya, filling the Spaniard’s gloves back at Brentford.

The Bees invested £11m in Mark Flekken as a replacement last summer, but the Dutchman is already 30 and not necessarily a long-term investment.

The issue is whether Ramsdale would view a club that is currently struggling in the bottom half of the table as too much of a step down.

Fit? 3/10

RB Leipzig's Peter Gulacsi is getting older

RB Leipzig’s Peter Gulacsi is getting older / Pablo Morano/MB Media/GettyImages

Peter Gulacsi has been RB Leipzig’s starting goalkeeper since 2015, yet the Hungarian stopper didn’t immediately win his place back after returning from long-term injury earlier this season. He will also soon be 34, while alternative Janis Blaswich is shortly going to turn 33.

Several English players who have taken the plunge by moving to Germany in recent years have thrived and Leipzig can consistently offer European football, even if it’s not always the Champions League.

The major drawback for Ramsdale is his preference to stay in England.

Fit? 4/10

Roberto De Zerbi

Roberto De Zerbi may need convincing of Brighton’s ambition / Mike Hewitt/GettyImages

Brighton are arguably a more competitive version of Brentford and going after Ramsdale could indicate to manager Roberto De Zerbi that it is worthwhile resisting the allure of Liverpool or Bayern Munich after the boss openly suggested his future will be determined by the club’s ambition.

The Seagulls don’t currently have an established starting goalkeeper, flitting between the raw Bart Verbruggen and former understudy Jason Steele throughout 2023/24. Brighton is also only a short hop from London, while the south coast has already played a huge part in his career after first coming to prominence while at Bournemouth.

Brighton probably won’t be able to put Ramsdale into a position where he can regularly compete for trophies and are still more a ‘stepping stone’ club.

Fit? 5/10

Harry Kane, Eric Dier

Bayern have been willing to sign English players / Stefan Matzke – sampics/GettyImages

Even with staying in England the ideal, having the chance to join a genuine European giant like Bayern Munich is a different kind of proposition altogether and not one that would be easy to turn down.

Manuel Neuer is 38 and no longer the goalkeeper who was challenging for the Ballon d’Or a decade ago. There is a real chance for someone to become Bayern’s new number one within the next year or two.

Deals for Harry Kane and Eric Dier in the past 12 months alone have shown the club’s willingness to shop in the English market too.

Fit? 7/10

Newcastle are a project club with genuine prospects

Newcastle are a project club with genuine prospects / ANDY BUCHANAN/GettyImages

Current Newcastle number one Nick Pope is a reliable and proven Premier League goalkeeper. But the Magpies are an ambitious club determined to become Champions League regulars and title challengers, so the opportunity to land a better, younger starter could be difficult to ignore.

Newcastle aren’t the finished product, but there is certainly far more chance that they will get there to challenge the top clubs for silverware in a way that Brentford and Brighton just won’t.

It would mean substantially uprooting his private life. But Ramsdale is a northerner at heart, growing up in north Staffordshire and spending the formative years of his senior career in Yorkshire.

Fit? 8/10

Robert Sanchez

Could Chelsea do better than Robert Sanchez? / Chris Brunskill/Fantasista/GettyImages

Despite spending up to £25m on Robert Sanchez and up to another £14m on Djordje Petrovic, Chelsea still haven’t nailed the goalkeeping position. Even before Sanchez succumbed to injury there were doubts about the Spaniard’s long-term suitability, while Kepa Arrizabalaga is also still on the books even if the chances of re-establishing himself are slim to nil.

Ramsdale would be another sizeable outlay but Chelsea might be able to raise the cash through sales and he’s arguably a significant upgrade on the current options in Mauricio Pochettino’s squad.

For Ramsdale himself, remaining in London means he could stay put from a family perspective, while if Chelsea can pull themselves out of their current hole to compete they will once more become a ‘destination club’ that players aspire to join rather than a stepping stone to bigger things.

Fit? 9/10


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