Ex-Sheffield United goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale in line to make England debut as Gareth Southgate praises Arsenal man

Gareth Southgate has opened the door for a potential England debut for former Sheffield United goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale, admitting “there’s a fight on” for the No.1 jersey.

Thursday, 4th November 2021, 5:32 pm
Updated Thursday, 4th November 2021, 5:54 pm

Ramsdale has been named in the England squad for this month’s World Cup qualifiers against Albania and San Marino, a reward for his excellent early-season form for Arsenal after making the switch from Bramall Lane.

Ramsdale was included in the England squad for the European Championships this summer before moving to the Emirates, where he was won plaudits for his passion and performances in an Arsenal shirt.

And Southgate said: “Firstly, it's great for him. This is the third squad he's been in, he had the summer with us.

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“We were impressed with what he did in the summer and he started very well with Arsenal. That's at this stage of the season still quite a small sample of games, but we're really pleased with what he's doing and the way he's playing.

“His distribution with his feet is a particular bonus of the way that they play at Arsenal and the skill set that he's got. So I think there's a there's a fight on.

“We've got competition for places and we need competition places in every position. Aaron and Sam are definitely providing that to Jordan.”

Former Sheffield United goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale of Arsenal makes a save during the Premier League match between Leicester City and Arsenal (Michael Regan/Getty Images)

Elsewhere, Marcus Rashford and Jude Bellingham have been recalled but Jadon Sancho and Jesse Lingard, a former United loan target, have been left out.

“It’s always difficult, because we've got so much competition for places,” Southgate, who also left out Manchester United’s Mason Greenwood, added.

“We had quite a few players missing last time, which means you bring others in. And so then you've got more decisions to make.

“Also, some young players who are playing well that haven’t quite made the squad. So we've kept a reasonable amount of consistency really with the group that we're with this in the summer.

“They did so well. We're only five international games on from that but also there are there are players pushing, pushing that group very strongly.”

England need four points from their last two qualifiers to book their place at Qatar 2022.