Aaron Ramsdale: Arsenal exit now inevitable as ruthless Mikel Arteta treatment takes its toll

When the full-time whistle went at Brentford on Saturday, it was not match-winner Kai Havertz that the Arsenal players ran to congratulate.

Instead, they made a beeline for Aaron Ramsdale, who eventually broke out in a smile after a difficult night.

The goalkeeper kept a clean sheet as Arsenal won 1-0, but this performance will not have made Mikel Arteta doubt his decision to make David Raya his new No1.

If anything, Saturday only added to the feeling that Ramsdale is surely heading for the exit door at some stage because the current situation is unsustainable.

Arsenal players congratulated Aaron Ramsdale at the full-time whistle. (PA)
Arsenal players congratulated Aaron Ramsdale at the full-time whistle. (PA)

Ramsdale looked rusty and short on confidence, which is hardly surprising given he was making his first Premier League start since September 3.

Twice in the first half he was almost left red-faced playing out from the back, with Declan Rice making one heroic block off the line to spare his blushes.

At times it was hard to watch, not least because Ramsdale has played such a key part in the resurgence of Arsenal under Arteta and was even rewarded with a new contract May.But that is in the past and it is clear Arteta has ruthlessly moved on.

Twice during his interview with TNT Sports after Saturday's win, Arteta was asked about Ramsdale - who in fairness regained his composed and improved in the second half.

The first time, Arteta said: "I think I am so happy with the team that the way they performed we got the clean sheet, and I'm so happy the way everybody played."

Then pressed about Ramsdale’s nerves being understandable given the taunts from Brentford fans, Arteta replied: “I think the team was exceptional today.”

Those taunts from home supporters included chants about Ramsdale being “England’s No4”.

Losing his England place must be a fear for Ramsdale, given Jordan Pickford, Nick Pope and Sam Johnstone are all first-choice at their clubs and playing regularly.

Ramsdale, in contrast, is unlikely to play again until January unless Arteta hands him a start in Arsenal’s final Champions League game in PSV Eindhoven, which will be a dead rubber if the Gunners beat Lens on Wednesday to secure top spot in Group B.

He will attract interest in January, but don't expect Arsenal to let him leave.

Injuries hurt Arsenal in the title race last season and it is hard to imagine Arteta allowing Ramsdale to go mid-season when a replacement will be so hard to find.