Aaron Ramsdale pulls out of Arsenal squad to face Chelsea at the last minute

Arsenal goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale pulled out of the squad to play Chelsea on Saturday. The England star misses the match at Stamford Bridge after his wife gave birth to a baby boy.

Ramsdale will have hoped to push his case for a starting spot in west London. But he was forced to miss the game, with David Raya again being named in goal for the Gunners.

Ramsdale and his wife Georgina announced in June that they were expecting their first child. Shortly after posting their starting XI against Chelsea, Arsenal wrote on their official X account, formerly known as Twitter, that Georgina had given birth to a boy.

Karl Hein was named among the Arsenal substitutes in Ramsdale’s place. The Estonia international is yet to make his Premier League debut for the club.

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Ramsdale was likely to have been on the bench anyway, with Raya the preferred goalkeeper for Mikel Arteta of late. Raya has now started the last five league matches as well as the two Champions League group-stage games.

Ramsdale kept his spot in the recent England squad but was unused by Gareth Southgate, with Sam Johnstone playing the friendly against Australia before Jordan Pickford returned for the Euro 2024 qualifier against Italy. The Three Lions are back in action next month against North Macedonia and Malta.

Ramsdale is focused on getting back into his club side before thinking of his next international honours. He said: “I need to get back into my club team first.

“My focus now turns to Chelsea on Saturday. Of course, they are two games which I could target and try and play, but first and foremost I’ve got to give the manager a decision and be available to be picked and that is by getting back into my club team if that’s the case.”

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Arteta has also advised Ramsdale on what he must do to win his place back. He said: “It’s not easy for any player when he’s not playing as much as he would like to.

“But the only way to do it is to work harder, to show the passion you have for the game, to contribute to the team in a different way and when you get an opportunity, do your best and try to help the team win the game.”

Arteta made one change to his team at Chelsea from the 1-0 win over Manchester City last time out. Bukayo Saka returned to the side in place of Eddie Nketiah.

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