Sheffield United: Arsenal target Aaron Ramsdale is hoping to help England make history when they face Germany tonight
Aaron Ramsdale hopes to be a part of a history making squad when England appear in the last 16 of the European Championships this evening, as the Three Lions go in search of their first victory over Germany in the knockout phase of a major tournament since 1966.
The Sheffield United goalkeeper, who is expected to be the subject of a bid from Arsenal when the competition ends, will start the match on the bench after being called-up by Gareth Southgate earlier this month.
Although Ramsdale’s chances of actually appearing in the tournament are slim, with Sam Johnstone acting as Jordan Pickford’s main deputy, Southgate has stressed the group as a whole, not the starting eleven, should be viewed as responsible should they reach the quarter-finals.
“They (Germany) won’t fear coming here,” he said, ahead of the match at Wembley. “We’ll have to play at our very best. We’ve got to be tactically well-prepared, we’ve got to be physically well-prepared and psychologically well-prepared. That only happens when everyone contributes.”
Ramsdale owes his presence in the squad to a series of superb performances towards the end of last season which, despite failing to prevent United being relegated from the Premier League, convinced Southgate he was ready for a senior call-up after previously representing his country at under-21 level.
After helping Pickford prepare for the fixture at St George’s Park, Ramsdale has now travelled to England’s base near the stadium in north London. Southgate last night reached a decision on whether or not to involve Ben Chilwell and Mason Mount, after the Chelsea duo were forced to self-isolate having been identified as close contacts of Scotland’s Billy Gilmour before he tested positive for Covid-19 following the group stage clash with Steve Clarke’s side.
With the contest possibly being decided on penalties, Ramsdale has also been helping England’s designated takers perfect their spot-kick strategies and technique.
“We always practise penalties,” Southgate said. “We always prepare as thoroughly as we can.
“We practised well ahead of our last twok shoot-outs, in the World Cup and the Nations League, and we won both of those games.”
“We’re always thoroughly prepared for the big tournaments and the big matches,” Southgate added.