Mikel Arteta has warned Aaron Ramsdale not to rush any decision over his future after the goalkeeper was told he could not be promised a place at Euro 2024 if he remains on the bench at Arsenal.
Ramsdale was this week called up by England manager Gareth Southgate for the final two qualifiers against Malta and North Macedonia and will be aiming to add to his four senior caps.
However, the 25-year-old has been ousted as Arsenal’s first-choice goalkeeper since the arrival of David Raya from Brentford and has played just twice since the September international break.
Speaking after naming his latest squad, Southgate said of Ramsdale’s plight: “He’s still battling to be the number one at Arsenal, and his profile and the way he can use the ball with his feet, we like, we think that’s important.
“But there is a reality as a keeper — if we get to March and he’s six months without playing regularly, then I’m never going to promise things that I couldn’t guarantee delivering.”
Arteta has not spoken to Ramsdale about the issue but warned against a January move in a quest to find first-team football.
“First of all my door is open to speak about any player,” he said.
“We just want the best for our players and we try to do that, and we know the influence that we can have — sometimes positively, sometimes not so positively, towards them.
“We will always try to do our best to help them, but this is a team sport that needs 24 players that have to fulfil a role. And the role that you have in August, it might be very different from the one you have in March.
“So making early decisions, in my experience, is not something good at all and as well because the team has certain needs that have to be accomplished. And in order to do that you cannot do it with six, 10 or 14 players. It is impossible. So you need everyone and Aaron has a really important role in the team.”
Ramsdale is likely to once again be among the substitutes as Arsenal hosts Burnley on Saturday, looking to get back to winning ways in the Premier League after its 1-0 loss at Newcastle last week.
Arteta, though, could be without as many as eight first-team players. Captain Martin Odegaard is “still racing” to be fit, while Bukayo Saka and Takehiro Tomiyasu both came off injured in Wednesday’s Champions League win over Sevilla.
Forwards Gabriel Jesus and Eddie Nketiah could miss out with hamstring and ankle injuries, while Thomas Partey, Emile Smith Rowe and Jurrien Timber are definite absentees.