Yesterday was a busy day for the Arsenal transfer rumour mill.
There were reports of a failed bid for Brighton’s Ben White, whilst Aston Villa targeted Emile Smith Rowe – Villa are clearly looking to splash the cash ahead of recouping their expenditure by selling Jack Grealish.
Late in the day Arsenal were heavily linked to Sheffield United’s Aaron Ramsdale.
23-year-old Ramsdale has recently been called into the England Euro 2021 squad as a replacement for the injured Dean Henderson.
Replacing Henderson for England mirrors his club career where he also replaced his compatriot at Sheffield United following the latters return to Manchester United.
Ramsdale, like Sheffield United, had a tough season last year.
For the first 4 months of the season he got nowhere near any shot on target.
However he showed signs of becoming a really good keeper in the last third of the season.
Sheffield United fans are still split as to whether he has the quality to make it at the very top, but he is apparently a “top kid”.
The links to Ramsdale are interesting because it seemed Arsenal were on the verge of signing Andre Onana depending on the outcome of his doping case.
He has had his suspension reduced meaning that he can play from the 4th of November.
Talk was the Onana was going to come in to replace Bernd Leno – who could be on his way back to Germany.
There is a lot of logic behind Arsenal signing both Ramsdale and Onana.
If Leno leaves, and with no established number 2, Arsenal would need 2 new goal keepers.
If Onana is available for as little as £7million and is our primary target, we should be signing him regardless of his suspension.
That means we need a number 2 who can come in and do a job for 3 months until Onana has returned.
Ramsdale is reportedly available for £20million, is just 23 and is home grown.
With 2 years Premier League experience under his belt (one at Bournemouth, one at Sheffield United), he is a man that could come in and do that job until Onana is off his ban.
The pair would cost Arsenal in the region of £27million combined – the price tag would be somewhat offset with the sale of Leno.
That would leave Arsenal with Onana and Ramsdale as the two goal keeper options. I am happy with that.
Arsenal have also been linked with Ramsdale’s team mate Sander Berge.
The puzzle for Berge is where will he fit in.
He has played central midfield his entire career but some feel he could end up at centre back.
His problem is despite his height, he is one of those that’s smaller in the air when he jumps and defensively questionable.
He’s also slow accelerating and takes a while to reach his top speed.
Berge is a player that would get better with better players around him and has undoubted potential. But you would want to see him have another 12 months Premier League football under his belt before spending £30-35million on him.
So Ramsdale and Onanan YES. Berge NO.