Aaron Ramsdale says he’s ready to take on the responsibility of becoming Arsenal’s next captain should Mikel Arteta offer him the armband.
Former skipper Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was stripped of the captaincy back in December, and the striker left the north London club in January to join Barcelona.
Alexandre Lacazette has been chosen to captain the side until the end of the season, but the Frenchman’s contract is due to expire in the summer, with no new deal agreed as of yet.
Meanwhile, current No.1 goalkeeper Ramsdale has earned plaudits for his performances since making the move from Sheffield United in the summer.
Speaking to FourFourTwo, the England international put himself forward for the club captaincy.
‘Listen, I’d take the responsibility but that’s down to the manager,’ Ramsdale said
‘We’ve got a lot of strong characters, though, and a lot of people who I think would be good captains.
‘Just to be told ‘you’re in a leadership role’ – I’d relish whatever. You never turn down a captaincy and I think I’d excel if I was given the armband, but that’s down to the boss.’
Ramsdale took over from Bernd Leno as Arteta’s first-choice stopper early on in the current campaign, but the 23-year-old admits the competition between the two is still strong.
‘With Bernd Leno pushing me every day, I know I can’t sit back and take it easy, because he’ll take the No.1 spot off me just as quickly as I took it off him,’ Ramsdale added.
‘He’s been good with me – we fight for the same spot, but we have each other’s backs too. For me, it’s not about what happens months into the first season – I’d prefer to be judged four or five years down the line.
‘I thought [that becoming the no.1] would be a process of four months, maybe a year, but I was ready. I felt settled straight away, knowing some of the lads, and the manager made it so easy for me by saying, ‘Just go and play your game.’ Once I’d got in, it was so comfortable for me to do my stuff.
‘The fans have been absolutely amazing with me, too. There was obviously a bit of unrest when I signed – people were talking about me being a second-choice goalkeeper, costing a lot of money and the relegations – but that just gave me added motivation to win them over.’