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Aaron Ramsdale names forgotten Premier League legend as his childhood hero

Aaron Ramsdale names forgotten Premier League legend as his childhood hero

This is a surprise.

Arsenal goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale has revealed his unlikely goalkeeping hero, and you might recognise the name.

Ramsdale has played a huge part in the Gunners' phenomenal title charge this season, making a series of crucial saves between the sticks.

The 24-year-old could have had his very own highlights reel against Liverpool on Sunday, tipping Mohamed Salah's curling effort round the post to keep the scores at 2-2.

However, Ramsdale didn't have the smoothest of rides to get to where he is today. Rewind nine years, and the Yorkshireman was released by Bolton Wanderers because he was "too small and couldn't kick".

Now an England international, and in the contention for the Premier League golden glove, Ramsdale remembers the man who helped him get there.

Ramsdale names goalkeeping hero

Despite a rocky start to life as a goalkeeper, Ramsdale gained some valuable advice, citing former Bolton goalkeeper Jussi Jaaskelainen as a major influence on his career.

Jaaskelainen, who made over 500 appearances during his 15 years at Bolton, knows exactly what it takes to make the grade in the Premier League.

Through their connection as family friends, Ramsdale used his time with the former Finnish shot stopper to learn about the art of goalkeeping in the top flight.

"As I was going through the Bolton system, Jaaskelainen was a big part of my career. He was my early inspiration," Ramsdale told the Arsenal website.

"Being able to watch him every other weekend at the home games was obviously huge for me, and then becoming close family friends with him and being able to speak to him about football and play in the garden with him and his son William, who's the same age as me.


"I'm still very close with them, but for me at that age to be around a Premier League player was huge. Also his coach at Bolton, Fred Barber, was the one who trained me at Stoke.

"He's still coaching at Crewe after being at Bolton for years and has a goalkeeping school in Stoke, which is where I went before moving to Bolton."

Despite suffering three Premier League relegations with Sheffield United and Bournemouth, Ramsdale now finds himself at the other end of the table with Arsenal.

However, his core goalkeeping principles were established at a young age with the help of Jaaskelainen.

"Things like my set position," Ramsdale said, when asked which of Jaaskelainen's traits he mirrors in his own game.

"Obviously, getting coached by the same coach that Jussi worked with in Fred [Barber], he stuck to his principles and taught all of the people who went to the goalkeeping school the same way.

"So you are given the basis, but then you see someone in the Premier League doing it week in, week out and you know it's working."

Featured Image Credit: Alamy

Topics: Aaron Ramsdale, Arsenal, Football, Bolton Wanderers