The father of Arsenal goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale has criticised the club for the manner in which his son has been dropped in favour of David Raya.
Ramsdale was the Gunners’ first choice goalkeeper last season but has lost his place in the first team to Raya so far this campaign, who joined the club from Brentford in August.
Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta had insisted after signing Raya that he did not have a settled number one goalkeeper, something Ramsdale’s father has disputed.
Speaking to the Highbury Squad Podcast on Arteta’s decision to drop Ramsdale for Raya, Nick Ramsdale said: “We did not have a clue. I didn’t have a clue, our family didn’t have a clue, Aaron didn’t have a clue that he was not going to carry on playing. All of a sudden, he’s not been played.
“You just have to look at it personally and I’m probably saying too much but Aaron is going to be the cup goalkeeper, and David Raya is going to be the main man unless something happens, an injury or a sending-off.
“Aaron’s got to live with that and he is living with that even though he’s not been told it. By anybody.
“Even though the way it’s been done, in my eyes, it’s been wrong and we can talk about that but it’s the decision.’
“Aaron has just signed a new deal with three or four years with an option for 12 months.
“This is honestly truthful, I’m not spinning the yarn. This is purely me: why would you extend a goalkeeper or any player’s contract and then two or three months later (sign Raya)?”
Ramsdale’s father also admitted on the podcast that his son has found it very difficult not being in the Arsenal first team this season.
“Aaron lost that smile. And it’s difficult to see him there,” he said. “We all keep saying: ‘you need to keep smiling’. And at the moment in time, we haven’t got that smile in him.
“David Raya is a great goalkeeper and it’s not his fault. He’s just come in as a goalkeeper. It’s just like when Aaron came in and Bernd Leno was there.
“Aaron says Raya is a lovely guy and he works hard with him. Aaron is trying to help in as much as he can to settle in with the squad. It’s possibly the way it’s been done, not knowing the reason why.”