David Raya and Aaron Ramsdale battle it out to be Arsenal’s first choice goalkeeper
Bernd Leno is not convinced by Mikel Arteta’s plan to rotate two goalkeepers based on the needs of specific games, with the Spaniard intending to do so with Aaron Ramsdale and David Raya this season at Arsenal.
Raya was signed from Brentford over the summer in something of a surprise move after Ramsdale impressed over the last campaign for the Gunners.
The Englishman started the season with the gloves, but the Spain international has since come into the team, starting against Everton and PSV.
Mikel Arteta’s Plan to Rotate Goalkeepers
Arteta says there is no clear first choice in goal and both men will have plenty of opportunities, even saying that he would sub off his goalkeeper mid-game for tactical reasons.
Former Gunners, and current Fulham stopper Leno is not on board with this plan, saying it is not a move he would ever encourage.
‘You don’t build a relationship, which takes time,” said Leno to The Times. ‘As a manager I would never change my goalkeeper, to say, “Oh, today I need a goalkeeper good with his feet, or one good at crosses,” or, “Today I need a good shot-stopper because we play against Man City and they will have ten shots or something.” I would never do that.’
Arteta says he is yet to decide who will start in goal in the north London derby on Sunday, having already explained why he would be happy in future to sub off his keeper during a match.
‘I’m a really young manager, I’ve been in the job three and a half years,’ Arteta said. ‘I have few regrets, but one of them is that on two occasions, I felt after 60 minutes and 85 minutes of two games in this period to change the goalkeeper in that moment.
Bernd Leno’s Take on Goalkeeper Rotation
‘Someone is going to do it, and maybe [people will say] that’s strange. But why not? Tell me why not. You have all the qualities in another goalkeeper to do something, you want to change the momentum, do it.
‘It’s a regret that I have. Now my feeling is to get everybody engaged, that they have to play regardless of the competition. That’s my message.’
It remains to be seen who will start in goal for Arsenal in their upcoming north London derby against Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday. What is certain though is that Mikel Arteta’s plan to rotate two goalkeepers has been met with resistance from former Gunner Bernd Leno.
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