AARON RAMSDALE wants to face a red-hot Cristiano Ronaldo when Arsenal travel to Manchester United next week.
The Gunners head to Old Trafford on Thursday in what looks set to be Ralf Rangnick’s first game as interim boss.
Man Utd star Cristiano Ronaldo has been warned he needs to be at his best against Arsenal next weekCredit: Rex
Aaron Ramsdale is ready to keep Ronaldo at bay when Arsenal face the Red DevilsCredit: Rex
Ronaldo, 36, has scored just one Premier League goal in his last SEVEN appearances, dating back to September.
But with his heroics for United in the Champions League, he is now just one strike shy of 800 career goals.
Even so, Ramsdale insists he would prefer a ‘full-on battle’ with the Portuguese superstar than a quiet night between the sticks.
The Arsenal goalkeeper said: “I’d never thought I’d play against Ronaldo, but I really hope he’s on it against us because it gives me a chance to test myself.
“As much as you want to go somewhere like Old Trafford, there’s no better feeling than getting on top of someone and saying I’ve had a full-on battle with Ronaldo.”
And Ramsdale has every reason to be confident. He has produced the goods since his £30million switch from Sheffield United in the summer, dislodging Bernd Leno out of the team.
His save to somehow deny James Maddison’s free-kick in the win at Leicester was world class and he is quickly becoming a fan favourite in North London.
The ex-Bournemouth man has racked up 30 saves in the Premier League while only title-challengers Edouard Mendy, Alisson and Ederson can better his tally of five clean sheets.
That all led to Gareth Southgate handing him his senior England debut in the 10-0 thrashing of San Marino.
Speaking during a gaming event at Amazon’s Black Friday Live, Ramsdale added: “It was very special just to be given the opportunity in a qualifier.
“It wasn’t a friendly, although the opposition was as people would say ‘easier’ but you can only play what’s in front of you.
“I managed to get my family there so for them to see it was a special afternoon. It was good for me, I managed to make one save and keep a clean sheet.”
Before facing the likes of Ronaldo, Bruno Fernandes and Marcus Rashford hoping to impress the new manager, Ramsdale will want another shut-out when Eddie Howe’s Newcastle visit the Emirates on Saturday lunchtime.
And he is sure the Gunners can bounce back from defeat at Liverpool – thanks to their young manager and even younger star players.
Ramsdale said: “You look at some of players over the past few weeks who have been quite pivotal like Emile Smith Rowe and Bukayo Saka. They are sort of kids.
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“We’re proving people wrong each week and aren’t putting a ceiling to where we can take ourselves and how well we can do.
“I think because Mikel’s come out of the game fairly recently, he’s got great management skills. He’s very approachable and has worked with arguably one of the best coaches in the world.”
Aaron attended Amazon’s Black Friday Live, taking part in the Deliveroo Gaming Battle against music producer, Nathan Dawe, and hosted by Michael ‘Timbsy’ Timbs. To watch again, go to www.amazon.co.uk/blackfridaylive.
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