Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder has defended the decision to sell Aaron Ramsdale to AFC Bournemouth.
The teenage goalkeeper joined Eddie Howe’s side on a long-term contract last night after the Premier League club tabled an offer worth in excess of £1m.
Although the departure of Ramsdale, regarded by many as one of the most talented players to emerge from the Steelphalt Academy in recent seasons, was greeted with dismay by many reporters, Wilder explained the sale was sanctioned following an analysis of United’s footballing and financial interests.
“There’s been interest in Aaron for quite a while and despite rejecting smaller offers, this bid was too good to turn down,” Wilder said. “The bid exceeded the club’s valuation.
“We are in the game of winning football matches and being a sustainable business - as we stand Aaron’s transfer does not affect our challenge for promotion. Simon Moore is in possession of the goalkeeper’s shirt at the moment and in George Long and Jake Eastwood we have adequate cover.”
“A number of discussions have taken place since the substantial bid was submitted and we felt agreeing to the sale is the best decision for the club in terms of the initial fee and the associated add-ons,” Wilder added. “Also, it is opportunity for Aaron that we cannot deny him and we wish him well for the future.”
Everton attempted to sign Ramsdale, an England youth international, on Monday but their offer was rejected by Bramall Lane’s board of directors. The Star understands that United were also angered by what they regarded as a deliberate attempt to unsettle the player when news of Goodison Park’s interest was leaked to others involved with the proposed deal.
Long, who had fallen behind Ramsdale in the pecking order, is now expected to deputise for Moore when United, second in the League One table, host AFC Wimbledon this weekend.
Ramsdale’s exit comes five months after Everton lured another academy graduate, Dominic Calvert-Lewin, away from South Yorkshire. United have banked £1.4m from that sale after the centre-forward made his debut for Ronald Koeman’s side following a spell in the under-23’s.