Why Aaron Ramsdale deserves credit for turning it around - Sheffield United are in safe hands with him
In a season of struggle for Sheffield United, there have been few positives and the voting for the club’s end-of-season player-of-the-year award may be as difficult as it has been in recent years, albeit for different reasons.
In the two seasons prior to this one, it was difficult to single a player out for the award because there were so many candidates. Now, with United bottom of the Premier League table and on course to break a number of unwanted records, it may be a struggle to pick one out.
David McGoldrick, United’s top scorer who has rarely let his performance levels drop even when his head visibly has, is a worthy candidate. Perhaps Jayden Bogle may be in with a shout, after announcing his arrival on the scene with goals from right wing-back.
It may go, in the end, to Aaron Ramsdale the goalkeeper who has cut a forlorn figure at times earlier in the season as he was left terribly exposed by those in front of him. To his credit, he has turned it around with a string of fine performances and was in good form again at Leeds on Saturday, when he kept the scoreline down before being beaten by Phil Jagielka’s own goal.
“He’s been really impressive for the last two or three months and really impressed me over the last few weeks, too,” boss Paul Heckingbottom said.
“We know what type of goalkeeper he is, he is great to have behind the back lads and allows us to maybe take those risks to score the goals that have been hard to come by this season.
“We knew he’d be busy with how Leeds play and he produced saves. We just couldn’t take the big moments at the other end because we did have opportunities as well.”
Ramsdale was voted Bournemouth’s player-of-the-season before returning to Bramall Lane in the summer, and is facing a second successive relegation after the Cherries went down to the Championship last season.
He was also part of England U21s’ disastrous run during the last international break, albeit performing admirably individually, and will hope for an easier ride in the Championship next season. But, between the posts at least, United’s future looks in safe hands.