Everton and England goalkeeper Jordan Pickford has claimed that Arsenal star Aaron Ramsdale has helped improve him in recent times.
Eyebrows were raised when the Gunners splashed out a reported £24million to sign Ramsdale from Sheffield United last summer but the young shot-stopper has proven critics wrong, enjoying an excellent debut season at the Emirates Stadium. In fact, his form earned him his first start for England, featuring during a 10-0 win against San Marino back in November of last year.
Now, Toffees shot-stopper Pickford has claimed that Ramsdale’s excellent form helped push him to become a better ‘keeper last season. Speaking to The Daily Mail, the former Sunderland man said: “There are always people trying to chase you and get that spot off you so it’s about keeping pushing boundaries.
“I think it’s better for me when Rammers is pushing because that’s pushing me to go even further to get even better. I feel I’ve been pushed all the time with Popey [Nick Pope], Deano [Dean Henderson], Rammers, Sam [Johnstone].
“I appreciate the manager’s loyalty. I’ve known him since the Under 21s and I was there when he got the job with the seniors so yes he’s stuck by me.” Arsenal star Ramsdale will be hoping to dislodge Pickford as Gareth Southgate’s number one ahead of the World Cup this winter and Leicester City boss Brendan Rodgers thinks that the 24-year-old is currently the best option that the Three Lions have.
“For me he’s the best English keeper at the moment. I think he’s top,” Rodgers said after Arsenal beat the Foxes 2-0 back in March. “His progression since he came to Arsenal, he’s playing for a huge club, different expectation with how to play football, I think he’s dealt with that really well.
“It looks like he’s come into the club here, he’s playing now with a calmness. We saw him earlier this season and he was jumping about, but now he’s got a really nice calmness to his game.
“He plays well with his feet, he makes saves, his save from [Harvey] Barnes looked in all the way, that was a great save and it kept Arsenal in front.