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Mikel Arteta backs Aaron Ramsdale to be England’s No 1 at the World Cup ahead of Jordan Pickford.

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta thinks Aaron Ramsdale is ready to be England’s first-choice goalkeeper at this year’s World Cup in Qatar.

Jordan Pickford has made the position his own under Gareth Southgate over the past four years after starring at the 2018 World Cup, but he has been ruled out of England’s upcoming international matches against Italy and Germany with a thigh problem.

Ramsdale is in line to deputise for him in these fixtures, and Arteta believes the 24-year-old’s performances over the last 12 months at club level have allowed his confidence to grow which makes him a worthy candidate to take over the gloves from Pickford at the World Cup.

‘I think Aaron is really confident anyway! It would be a good reward for him for what he has done,’ Arteta said ahead of his side’s trip to Brentford on Sunday.

‘I hope he is [picked for the World Cup]. I think it would be great for us and Aaron. He showed in the last year what he is capable of doing. We will be watching and waiting for that decision.’

Ramsdale started last season as Arsenal’s second-choice shot-stopper behind Bernd Leno in the pecking order, but quickly moved ahead of the German in the pecking order, and went on to keep 12 clean sheets in 34 league appearances for the Gunners in 2021-22.

He has also started the current campaign strongly, registering two clean sheets in six matches to date, and he was particularly impressive in Arsenal’s 2-1 comeback win against Fulham in August.

Pickford has been in good form himself, though, managing to keep Liverpool at bay in the Merseyside derby to earn his side a point earlier this month.

The Everton goalkeeper has experience on his side as well, having won 45 caps for England, while Ramsdale has only represented his country on three occasions.

The latest of those came in England’s shock 4-0 defeat against Hungary in the Nations League in June, but Ramsdale looks set to get the chance to put that night behind him during the next international break.

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