Arsenal

Castrol Game Changer Award nominee - Aaron Ramsdale

Aaron Ramsdale pulled off a number of incredible saves
Aaron Ramsdale pulled off a number of incredible saves / 90min | Castrol
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Aaron Ramsdale has been nominated for the new Castrol Game Changer award - which will be awarded to the player with the single most game-changing performance during the 2021/22 Premier League Season.

Click here to vote for your 2021/2022 Castrol Premier League Game Changer.


When you think of Game Changers, most of the glory goes to the striker who led the comeback from the front, or the midfielder who pulled the strings in the heart of the pitch to inspire their side to victory.

Rarely do goalkeepers receive that kind of credit, but after Arsenal left Leicester's King Power Stadium in October 2021, all and sundry could not help but heap praise on heroic shot stopper Aaron Ramsdale.

Early goals from Gabriel and Emile Smith Rowe had Arsenal two goals clear after just 18 minutes, but any suggestions that they would breeze through this game can be dispelled by a quick glance at the stats sheet.

Leicester enjoyed 64% possession, with Youri Tielemans and James Maddison spraying balls around the pitch with ease, and the Foxes mustered up 16 shots on goal compared to Arsenal's nine. Brendan Rodgers' men turned the tide pretty quickly, but nobody gave Ramsdale the memo.

First, it was Kelechi Iheanacho who stung the fingertips of Ramsdale with a fizzing drive from range. The shot looked picture-perfect and would have beaten almost any other goalkeeper on any other day, but Ramsdale was having none of it.

That was a good save, but what Ramsdale did next defied belief.

Maddison stood over a free-kick on the edge of the penalty area - a sight most goalkeepers see in their nightmares - and when he bent his strike over the wall and towards the top corner, most Arsenal supporters had accepted their fate.

Ramsdale was at full stretch to deny Maddison
Ramsdale was at full stretch to deny Maddison / James Williamson - AMA/GettyImages

Somehow, Ramsdale scrambled across his goal, grew an extra five inches and tipped the ball on to the bar, before getting up immediately and diving at the feet of Jonny Evans to prevent him from tapping home a rebound. 

Fans and critics alike joined hands to sing Ramsdale's praises, with some calling his stop the save of the season even though the campaign was just ten games old.

Ramsdale wasn't done there. Ademola Lookman couldn't beat him and Harvey Barnes couldn't beat him in three different attempts, with the Arsenal goalkeeper throwing each and every part of his body in front of the ball to keep a clean sheet. When the Gunners needed him, he was there.

Not only was this a Game Changer performance from Ramsdale, it was a showing which altered public opinion of the England international. Questions over his price tag were alleviated time and time again as Ramsdale flew this way, that way and any other way to keep Leicester at bay and single-handedly secure the three points for his side.

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