Mikel Arteta has confirmed that Arsenal are close to finalising a deal with Sheffield United for Aaron Ramsdale and expects the goalkeeper to provide much-needed competition to Bernd Leno.
After chasing the 23-year-old’s signature for much of the summer, the Gunners made a breakthrough in negotiations earlier in the week with the Blades accepting an offer that could rise to as much as £30 million, including add-ons.
Ramsdale has been at London Colney in the last 24 hours for his medical and could be part of the Gunners squad for Sunday’s game against Chelsea if all the necessary paperwork is completed before midday today.
Facing the press in his pre-game press conference, Arteta was asked about the stopper’s involvement this weekend.
“We will see, there’s still some paperwork getting done,” he said. “He had his medical almost done. There are a few things with Sheffield [United] still to be resolved. We are going to have to wait.”
Having had to select a fourth choice keeper on the bench for the season-opener at Brentford, a match he thinks should have been postponed due to a Covid outbreak in the squad, the boss is obviously pleased to have more experience to call upon between the sticks.
“It’s what we want,” said Arteta. “It’s always been the case at this football club [to have two great keepers]. It’s nothing new. We’re going to have two different profiles, two different stages in their career.
“Aaron is a really, really talented young goalkeeper with already a huge experience. He’s an international for England and he’s going to bring competition which is what we want; create competition, healthy competition, quality competition in every position.
“We needed a goalkeeper there, we identified Aaron as the ideal option.”