Inside track on Aaron Ramsdale and why Leno should be worried by Arsenal’s £24m transfer bargain – Football.London

Arsenal have agreed a deal in principle to sign Sheffield United goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale for a fee believed to be in the region of £24million, football.london understands.

The 23-year-old was left out of the Blades’ squad on Tuesday night against West Bromwich Albion with a switch from Bramall Lane to the Emirates expected to be completed in the coming days.

football.london revealed the details of a meeting between the Gunners and United last week which saw Mikel Arteta’s side walk away from the deal due to the £40million asking price.

However, the two parties have since struck a deal that could see a further £6million of add-ons supplemented into the transaction rising to £30million, subject to number of appearances and European qualification for the north London side.

The Three Lions youth international, who has enjoyed first-team training camps under Gareth Southgate at St. George’s Park, is classed as a ‘homegrown’ player weighing heavy interest from the Arsenal contingent.

This has been important in the planning behind identifying a new backup goalkeeper meaning Ramsdale’s arrival will free up an outfield space in the squad for a ‘non-homegrown’ foreign player.

Ramsdale, who has endured successive Premier League relegations with Bournemouth and the Blades, is also highly regarded as one of England’s most promising shot-stoppers despite continuing to divide opinion between fans.

So, Kaya Kaynak, football.london‘s Arsenal correspondent, spoke to Yorkshire Live’s Sheffield United reporter, Nathan Hemmingham to get the inside track on everything you need to know ahead of Ramsdale’s imminent arrival at London Colney.

Speaking on Fan Brands The Arsenal Way live show, Hemmingham began by discussing the Englishman’s ability to play out from the back and deal with beating the press, which is something Bernd Leno has struggled cope with in recent weeks.

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“[Ramsdale] has definitely shown that side of his game recently,” the Blades specialist said. “More so when Paul Heckingbottom came in as caretaker manager towards the end of last season.

“He wanted more build up play from the back so we started to see Aaron use his feet a lot more. His choice and his decisions were really good too.”

Hemmingham continued as he raved and revelled about about Ramsdale’s distribution and how he fits Arteta’s philosophies of playing out from the back.

He continued: “He was really good at deciding when he needed to go long, or when a chip pass was needed to break the press and he was also really cool under pressure when he needed to make a shorter pass.”

Yorkshire Live’s Sheffield United reporter added how most modern-day goalkeepers are good with their feet, but not all are capable of operating to a high level under pressure alluding to Bernd Leno’s recent woes in pre-season and against Brentford.

Hemmingham said: “Most goalkeepers are good with their feet, it’s their decision making under pressure; when do they go long, when do they beat the press and when do they go short. Aaron’s not been caught yet in any decisions yet, he’s always been good with his feet.”

The Arsenal Way show proceeded to detail Ramsdale’s key strengths as a goalkeeper, despite his natural weaknesses.

“He’s a very good shot-stopper,” Hemmingham said. “He doesn’t particularly command his area and he isn’t great with crosses but he is very, very good at shot stopping and one-versus-ones.”

A key factor in Ramsdale’s arrival which has divided opinion among Arsenal fans is his £24million price tag, having previously been valued at £40million by the Blades.

However, Hemmingham believes that the Gunners are striking are bargain for the youngsters services and has tipped Ramsdale to become the Arteta’s next number one.

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He said: “I think Arsenal have got him on the cheap! He’s Sheffield United biggest asset they’ve had for a long time. His ceiling is so high.

“The United fanbase feel they’ve unfortunately let him go on the cheap. He’s not the finished article. He is potentially a fantastic goalkeeper and still has a lot more to come.

“He has always been in and around the England setup, he is so highly-rated. Only Sam Johnstone beat him in terms of shots stopped last season in the Premier League.

“You are not buying someone who is Arsenal’s number one yet, but he is certainly someone who could well go on to become a number one at Arsenal in the future. It could be a deal you look back on and think money well paid.”

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