James delivers advice to Ramsdale ahead of upcoming Arsenal return

David James believes Aaron Ramsdale must seek a January move away from Arsenal to salvage his European Championship prospects.

Ramsdale is set to return to the Gunners’ starting line-up this weekend against Brentford, with David Raya ineligible to face his parent club.

It would mark the 25-year-old’s first Premier League appearance since the 3-1 win over Manchester United on September 3 and James has urged his fellow gloveman to consider a change of scene if he wants to book his seat on England’s Euro 2024 plane to Germany next summer.

“If he has any chance of giving Gareth Southgate a headache over goalkeeping selection, he won’t be doing that sat on the bench at Arsenal,” he said.

“He might have to have a conversation with Mikel [Arteta] and his agent and see if there’s an opportunity for him to play the rest of the season somewhere else.

“I had a similar situation myself at Liverpool, when Brad Friedel was brought in.

“There’s a part of you that wants to knuckle down and work harder but then you look at the guy coaching you and think ‘it was your intervention that brought my challenger to the club, how much will me working harder make you go back on the decision to bring someone else in?’. It’s a Sisyphean task.

“David Raya has been a fantastic goalkeeper in the Premier League, there is no question about that.

“But he has made mistakes I don’t think Ramsdale has made, then Arteta comes out and defends Raya. It doesn’t seem fair in some senses.”

James earned 53 England caps over a 13-year international career and was the Three Lions’ No.1 at Euro 2004.

Nearly two decades on, there is no doubt in his mind as to who will have that responsibility in Germany next summer.

“I still think Jordan Pickford is out and out England’s No.1 goalkeeper, based on what he does for England,” he said.

“I would still think that even if Ramsdale was playing every week for Arsenal. Jordan has been great for England and there is no reason why Gareth [Southgate] would want to drop him.

“I have been impressed with Sam Johnstone recently but Jordan is No.1, no question.”

James has switched his attention from saving shots to saving footwear in recent years, as the co-creator of Football Rebooted alongside Utilita Energy.

The project, established in 2021, aims to prevent at least a million pairs of boots from ending up in landfill and save 136,000 tonnes of carbon – the same as taking 7,000 cars off the road for a year.

“I can’t even think of a number to put on how many boots I had as a player,” he said.

“Had I been aware of upcoming environmental issues, the idea of donating them rather than throwing them away would have been a lot more useful.

“Creating football’s biggest environmental movement sounded a bit optimistic two years ago but it is going really well and the need will always be there. We are contributing to people staying in the game and continuing to do what they love.”

Football Rebooted is football’s biggest environmental movement, preventing one million pairs of football boots ending up on landfill. Visit find out more

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