Fellow goalkeeper hails Aaron Ramsdale's mental strength after Sheffield United man "turns it around" to earn England call-up

Simon Moore has paid tribute to Aaron Ramsdale’s inner mental strength after admitting his pride at seeing his Sheffield United teammate get called up to the England squad.

Friday, 4th June 2021, 5:00 am

Although Ramsdale did not make it into Gareth Southgate’s 26-man squad for this summer’s European Championships, he was named in the initial 33-man gathering after an impressive season saw him crowned United’s player of the season.

At 23 years of age, and as the England U21 No.1, his time will surely come and Moore, who worked closely with Ramsdale last season ahead of his release this summer, believes Ramsdale unfairly suffered from comparisons with the former United loanee Dean Henderson.

“Whoever followed Deano, whoever it was, had huge gloves to fill and would have been under huge amounts of pressure straightaway,” Moore, who will leave United this summer after the expiry of his contract, told The Star.

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“It takes time for people to erase the memories of what and who went before and anything Rammers did was going to be compared to Deano. It’s just natural.

“Rammers got off to a difficult start, but people have seen recently what an excellent goalkeeper he is. He’s settled in again now and his performances have been outstanding.

“I had the same comparisons to Deano when I played, and we had to accept it. But it was difficult – unless I saved 10 penalties and probably scored three overhead kicks, I was never going to be as good as Deano.”

Ramsdale had his first experience of a senior England squad on Tuesday as he was named on the bench for the pre-Euros friendly against Austria.

Simon Moore and Aaron Ramsdale, pictured in 2017 during Ramsdale's first spell at United: Simon Bellis/Sportimage
Simon Moore and Aaron Ramsdale, pictured in 2017 during Ramsdale's first spell at United: Simon Bellis/Sportimage

“He’s a great lad,” Moore added of Ramsdale. “And a fantastic goalkeeper.

“I’m so pleased for him, with the success he’s had, and hopefully he goes on to have much more. To get called up for England is something you dream about as a young lad and to have the mental strength to turn around what was a difficult start for him, he deserves so much credit.

“There was so much pressure on him – coming back to United and filling the gloves of Hendo after we’d finished ninth in the Premier League. It was almost a hiding to nothing for him and to come in and turn things around, shows the inner mental strength he has.”

England goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale embraces Ben White as Ben Godfrey looks on after the international friendly match between England and Austria at Riverside Stadium on June 02, 2021 in Middlesbrough, England. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)