Aaron Ramsdale: Arsenal goalkeeper says he has 'self-belief' and aspiration to become England No 1

Aaron Ramsdale has yet to win a full international cap but was recalled for England's World Cup qualifiers against Andorra and Hungary; the 23-year-old joined Arsenal from Sheffield United in August and has gone on to replace Bernd Leno as their No 1

Aaron Ramsdale, Arsenal and England
Image: Arsenal goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale is targeting England's No 1 spot

Aaron Ramsdale says he has the "self-belief" to become England's first-choice goalkeeper but knows he first has to find a way to break into the team.

The 23-year-old, who has yet to win a full international cap but has been recalled for World Cup qualifiers against Andorra and Hungary, joined Arsenal from Sheffield United in August and has gone on to replace Bernd Leno as their No 1.

Ramsdale has conceded one goal in his four top-flight appearances for the Gunners and believes he has the tools to win and keep the England gloves.

"I have the self-belief that, yes, I could hold down the position," he said.

"First and foremost, I have to get in the team and that's one of my goals at the moment. I'm just trying to learn and take it step by step but over time that's one of my aspirations."

Ramsdale has impressed since his summer move to Arsenal having been relegated from the Premier League in consecutive seasons.

PA IMAGE
Image: Ramsdale has made an impressive start at Arsenal since moving from Sheffield United in the summer

It was with the first of those relegated clubs, Bournemouth, where he missed the bus for a League Cup tie at Chelsea prompting him to admit later that he "needed to look at himself" and that the incident was a "catalyst" for him to grow up.

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The goalkeeper would make his way to the Emirates Stadium via a return to first club Sheffield United, where he also suffered relegation while also being named the club's player of the season - an achievement he also managed at Bournemouth.

Ramsdale, who was called into the England squad for Euro 2020 after Dean Henderson withdrew with injury, has since gone full circle - chatting with former Cherries boss Eddie Howe at St George's Park as he and ex-assistant Jason Tindall watched on during a training session.

When can England qualify for the World Cup?

When can England qualify for the World Cup?

England need just three more wins to be sure of qualification for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, starting with Saturday's clash in Andorra.

"I don't think I have realised yet how it has happened, and the journey I have had," Ramsdale said of his rise from AFC Wimbledon loanee to a man on the cusp of making his international bow.

"I definitely had a little snippet of that when Arsenal played Wimbledon the other week in the (Carabao) Cup and I got to see my old goalie coach, who I still speak to but I have not seen him for a long time and it brought back all the good memories of that period with Wimbledon, where I have come from.

"The experience of being on loan. I spoke to Eddie Howe and Jason Tindall and I think the major thing for me was well-documented, I missed the bus one time by sleeping in, and that's why I went out on loan to Wimbledon.

"That was the catalyst and I went out on loan and proved my worth and got myself into the Bournemouth team a year later.

"Hopefully sooner rather than later, when everything calms down and I am really settled at Arsenal, I might be able to think about my journey so far."

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Highlights of the FIFA World Cup European Qualifying Group I clash between Poland and England

There is also another training ground connection at play, with ex-England and Arsenal goalkeeper David Seaman being drafted in by the Gunners' academy director Per Mertesacker to work with the club's youth teams on an informal basis.

While Seaman, who won 75 England caps, has not spent time coaching the first-team goalkeepers at London Colney, he has spoken to Ramsdale.

"Just to be myself," Ramsdale revealed was Seaman's key piece of advice.

"We haven't worked with each other as such, but he came into watch training and we had a general chit-chat.

"I think I probably chewed his ear off about his career and about how my transfer to Arsenal was a similar situation to when he joined.

"I think he appreciates that he can give certain advice, but also that things have changed since he played.

"But hopefully further down the line we can have more conversations with each other and build up a relationship that way."

Despite costing Arsenal a fee that could rise to £30m, Ramsdale admits he did not expect to get a run in the first team quite so soon.

But Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta has put his faith in his new man, who admits it was clear from his first days that the club is yearning for a return to the big time.

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Highlights of the World Cup qualifying group I match between England and Andorra from Wembley

"(It has been) possibly the best month I could have wished for," he added.

"It is not something I expected so soon. I believed in my ability to get into the team but I thought it would take a while transitioning to the way they play, new team-mates, getting into the team helping them out.

"You can sense it as soon as you walk through the doors that the club isn't happy where they are.

"We want European football. It's a young team so it's step by step; it might have to be the Europa League and then the Champions League, but we want to get back there.

"You understand the pressures that brings, but it's an enjoyable challenge, and when the highs are high - they're really high.

"Around the training ground, you see the history. The players that have played here with their unique numbers, as we have with England.

"You've got the Invincibles on the walls everywhere, so you understand the history of the football club. It's now our time for us to put some new history on the wall."

How to follow England's World Cup Qualifiers

Follow Andorra vs England on Saturday, October 9 (kick-off 7.45pm) with our live blog, and watch free match highlights on the Sky Sports website and app, as well as the Sky Sports Football YouTube channel, from 11pm.

England then take on Hungary on Tuesday, October 12 (kick-off 7.45pm), with free match highlights also available from 11pm.

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