Arsenal goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale on handling ‘idiots’ online and fighting for Qatar World Cup spot

Aaron Ramsdale was hit with a barrage of online abuse ahead of his move to Arsenal. One year on, the goalkeeper is fighting for England's number one shirt ahead of the Qatar World Cup.

Back-to-back Premier League relegations with Bournemouth and Sheffield United meant Arsenal fans were at the very least dubious when the club decided to splash £24million on Ramsdale. 

The reaction soon turned to online abuse, which quickly led the 24-year-old to turn off his comments on social media.

He said: "At the very start it was difficult. I had a lot of negativity around the signing, with idiots online saying don't sign. Not necessarily death threats but threats saying, 'we know where you live' and things like that. Trying to scare me.

"Quite quickly I turned all that stuff off. Social media for me is a place to communicate with my friends and with the fans as well, but with limits on who can actually reach me.

"It was safer for me, but also my family as well. My mum and dad are obviously on social media. They don't really know what they are doing, but it's quite easy for them to type in 'Ramsdale' on Twitter to get to my page and end up on a page where there is a lot of negativity and abuse and then they read it and get upset. So it did make me feel a lot safer."

Ramsdale used his on-field performances to turn around public opinion and seal his position as Arsenal's number one.

Subsequently, his form with the Gunners quickly led to an England debut as Ramsdale featured in a 10-0 win over San Marino last November.

Looking ahead to the World Cup and possibly booking his ticket to Qatar, he said: "I'm in and around it at the moment.

"But things can change very quickly, especially this season there is going to be Jordan (Pickford), myself, Sam Johnstone, Dean Henderson, Nick Pope and probably some others.

"There are probably going to be five or six English goalkeepers trying to get on the plane so although I'm around at the moment I need to keep myself there.

"Off the pitch he (Southgate) is very similar to Mikel, I think that was one of Gareth's main things to get into the national team - about being together, about being as one and there are definitely similarities between them off the pitch.

"I think the way it is going with social media and mental health it is great to see these sorts of managers are now coming in and it is changing the game for the better."

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