Aaron Ramsdale is very much the man of the moment after an impressive start to his career at Arsenal.
It’s no coincidence that Arsenal are undefeated since Mikel Arteta handed him his first start in the 1-0 win over Norwich City in September.
He’s been one of the squad’s most impressive performers in that time, helping Arsenal pick up more points across the last eight gameweeks than any other side.
Ramsdale’s early season form saw him rewarded by England manager Gareth Southgate, making his debut and securing a clean sheet against minnows San Marino on Monday night.
Although he had little to do in England’s dominant 10-0 win, his inclusion in the starting 11 highlights how he’s edging closer to challenging Everton’s Jordan Pickford for the number one spot.
And indeed, he’s been noticeably outperforming not just his England rival this season, but also most other goalkeepers in the division. A point backed up by the underlying numbers.
Based on post-shot xG (PSxG) data, Ramsdale has accumulated a combined total of 6.2 for the campaign so far.
For those who don’t know, PSxG is basically a measurement of chance quality. It assigns a value to a shot in terms of how likely it is to lead to a goal, utilising information such as shooting location, body part and assist type.
But unlike traditional xG, it also takes into consideration shot characteristics after the ball has been struck, such as its trajectory and whether it was on target or not – all own goal strikes, shots off target or ones that are blocked are assigned a value of 0.
In Ramsdale’s case, it basically means that he would have been expected to concede around six goals this season, based on the shots he has faced.
Therefore his actual total of four against represents an overperformance of 2.2 – one of the highest in the league.
On top of this, the 23-year-old also boasts the second-highest save percentage in the league (86.2%) too.
Ramsdale’s shot-stopping abilities alone would be enough to justify the £24million paid by Arsenal to bring him to the club in the summer.
However, his standout distribution also gives him another string to his bow, especially at Arsenal where there’s a big emphasis on building from the back.
All of the above highlights why he’s already being labelled as one of the purchases of the summer, and Arsenal can be more than satisfied that they have silenced the pre-season critics who seemed uninspired by the move at the time.