TalkSPORT pundit Gabriel Agbonlahor has slammed Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta for claiming Aaron Ramsdale has not lost the starting berth to David Raya.
The 25-year-old has watched the last two games from the bench, with the Spain international retaining his spot in the starting XI against PSV Eindhoven in the Champions League last night after making his debut against Everton at the weekend.
Arteta claimed on Sunday that he has plans to rotate Ramsdale and Raya going forward, but Agbonlahor does not see it happening and is expecting the Brentford loanee to retain his berth for the Tottenham Hotspur game and going forward.
“Have a day off Mikel, you’re talking absolute garbage,” the former Aston Villa striker said on talkSPORT.
“You might play one keeper in the FA Cup, the Carabao Cup, that’s it.
“Maybe the Europa League, but when it’s Champions League football, your best goalkeeper is playing. In the Premier League now, you cannot afford to lose a point because of Man City, your best keeper is starting.
“David Raya would play. Don’t listen to him about bringing another keeper on in the 70th minute. He is talking garbage. He is trying to protect Ramsdale. Basically, he’s been savage. He saw Raya as a better keeper and he wants to win the title. Simple as that.”
Ramsdale started all 38 Premier League games last term and missed only four league games in 2021-22 after becoming the first-choice ahead of Bernd Leno.
Matt Turner and Runar Alex Runarsson could not give the England international a run for his money, and Arteta was forced to bring in Raya on loan in the summer.
The Spaniard is better than Ramsdale with the ball on his feet and has impressed in training since his arrival.
While the Englishman did not commit any error in the opening four league games he featured in, there have been internal concerns at Arsenal about his performances after conceding four goals out of the nine shots on target he has faced.
He has recorded a 55.6% save percentage and Fulham’s first goal in the 2-2 draw and Marcus Rashford’s goal in the 3-1 win over Manchester United have both been scrutinised, with some at the club insisting Ramsdale contributed to them and should have done better.
Arsenal face Spurs on Sunday in what is an important game, and should Arteta stick with Raya, the England international could find it difficult to return to the starting XI as it remains to be seen if the manager indeed has plans to rotate his team.