How Sheffield United's Aaron Ramsdale forced his way into Gareth Southgate's England thinking

Aaron Ramsdale described himself as being “lost for words” after being named in England’s provisional squad for this summer’s European Championships.

Tuesday, 25th May 2021, 5:07 pm

The Sheffield United youngster was called up by Gareth Southgate following a series of commanding performances during the second-half of a season which saw him make more saves than every other goalkeeper in the Premier League barring Sam Johnstone.

With Burnley’s Nick Pope expected to miss the tournament through injury, Ramsdale now looks set to go head to head with his rival at West Bromwich Albion for a place among Southgate’s final 26 selections, which are scheduled to be announced at the beginning of next month.

Taking to social media to describe his delight at the news, Ramsdale said: “No matter what happens over the coming weeks, I’m so honoured to be called up to the provisional squad. I’m lost for words.”

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This Sheffield United fan never lost faith in Aaron Ramsdale: JAN KRUGER/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

Despite making a difficult start to a campaign which ended with United being relegated from the Premier League, Ramsdale rediscovered his form over the festive period before going on to be named the club’s Player of the Year.

He returned to Bramall Lane, where he started his professional career, last summer following three years with AFC Bournemouth.

Speaking at the time Chris Wilder, United’s former manager, described how Southgate regarded Ramsdale as a potential senior international after being capped 15 times at under-21 level.

“He knows how good Aaron is,” said Wilder, before parting company with United in March. “He knows he’s got a chance and he knows what he’s all about, because that’s why he’s involved with them (the under-21’s). Gareth wants to bring these players through and he’s shown he will.”

Aaron Ramsdale has been in fine form since Christmas: Andrew Yates / Sportimage

Paul Heckingbottom, who took charge of United on an interim basis following Wilder’s exit, has also spoken in glowing terms about Ramsdale; making special mention of the “character” he displayed to bounce back from a series of indifferent displays during the build-up to Christmas.

“That showed what he’s all about, the type of brave personality he’s git,” Heckingbottom said, remembering how a section of United’s support base had called for him to be replaced in the starting eleven ahead of an FA Cup tie at Bristol Rovers. “It takes guts to do what he did, to front it up and then show what he’s really made of.”