He was "lost for words" when it happened - but Aaron Ramsdale admitted England call-up was on his mind when he rejoined Sheffield United

Aaron Ramsdale, the Sheffield United goalkeeper, admits he was “lost for words” when news of his inclusion in Gareth Southgate’s provisional England squad for this summer’s European Championships was confirmed this afternoon.

Tuesday, 25th May 2021, 3:34 pm

The door has opened thanks to Burnley goalkeeper Nick Pope’s injury on the eve of the tournament, and Ramsdale has forced his way through it on the back of his impressive displays this season despite suffering a second relegation from the Premier League in as many seasons.

But his individual contributions for both Bournemouth and United were recognised by player of the season awards for both, and an England call-up was on Ramsdale’s mind when he returned to Bramall Lane in the summer.

Sign up to our Sheffield United newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

“I have England aspirations, of course,” he said last summer. “They’re not in the front of my head because Sheffield United is my main focus. But if it does come, it’ll be one of the proudest days of my life.

“But I’m not worrying about it too much. If I can keep progressing as I am, I think I’ll have a long career ahead of me and hopefully there’ll be a call-up along the way.”

The day finally arrived today as Ramsdale was named in Gareth Southgate’s initial 33-man squad alongside former Blades goalkeeper Dean Henderson, Everton’s Jordan Pickford and Sam Johnstone of West Bromwich Albion.

Aaron Ramsdale of Sheffield United: Andrew Yates / Sportimage

“Nick Pope had a great season as well as Dean Henderson,” Ramsdale added last summer.

“[Pickford] is No.1 at the moment, so they’re the ones I’ve got to try to remove. It’s every man for himself.”