Echoes of Dean Henderson treatment in Sheffield United boss's words about Aaron Ramsdale after Liverpool game

Amongst all the fanfare for Aaron Ramsdale and his first-half display against Liverpool, keeping the likes of Firmino and Salah and Jones and Alexander-Arnold at bay, there was one man of a Sheffield United persuasion who refused to get too carried away.

Tuesday, 2nd March 2021, 6:00 am

Of course, Chris Wilder was delighted for his young goalkeeper, and said as much afterwards. He has seen Ramsdale attract a fair amount of stick this season - a little bit perhaps warranted, a whole deal not - and watched as the 22-year-old stood tall, refusing to hide and working harder to perfect his craft.

Ramsdale has been one of United's most impressive performers in recent weeks, making eye-catching saves after continuing to be tested more than he would like.

The culmination of extra, more specific sessions with coaches Darren Ward and Matt Duke was the first half against the reigning champions, when Ramsdale was at his best to keep the game goalless at the break.

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When Liverpool did find a way past him, he was in no way culpable and it said a lot that Jurgen Klopp complimented his display afterwards.

So did Wilder, but in his own way.

"He's going to have to make saves," Wilder said.

"I'm not going to big him up because people recognise and understand how I feel about Aaron as a young goalkeeper.

Goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale is welcomed back to Sheffield United by manager Chris Wilder at Bramall Lane: Simon Bellis/Sportimage

"We're signing young players. Most clubs in the Premier League would expect not to have the lion's share of the possession against them, and they will recognise their goalkeeper will need to make saves.

"Aaron did, and I'm delighted with how he's playing and that he's showing what he's capable of."

There's an element of the carrot and the stick there that has been seen before with United goalkeepers. Wilder used a similar approach to keep Dean Henderson grounded when he was between the Bramall Lane posts, replying to questions about Henderson's saves with the assertion that that was exactly what he is paid to do.

Ramsdale is a different character to his predecessor - he isn't as outwardly as confident as Henderson, but then again not many are - but there's a common thread in some public declerations about them by the manager who has proved himself a master at getting the best out of players.