21 August 2020 10:30
Sheffield United confirmed the signing of 22-year old goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale from Bournemouth. The England U21 international signed a four-year-long contract, keeping him at Bramall Lane till 2024. Ramsdale was one of the breakout stars of the Premier League last season. The Blades were on the search for a new goalkeeper following Dean Henderson's return to Manchester United. Aaron Ramsdale is expected to straight away slot into the first choice goalkeeper role at Bramall Lane.
Why Was Ramsdale Bought as the New Sheffield United Goalkeeper? The goalkeeper, along with Dean Henderson, was one of the youngest first-choice keepers in the Premier League last season. And with probably a long career ahead of him, Ramsdale could be the Blades first choice for many years to come. After three years in the academy, the Blades sold the promising keeper to Bournemouth for around one million pounds. Ramsdale Has Premier League Experience Like any new outfield players, goalkeepers also tend to have a rough patch after making a move to the Premier League. Just look at David de Gea – the Spanish international had a horrendous debut season before turning into one of Premier League's greatest shot-stoppers. Aaron Ramsdale has already had a full season in the Premier League and is now familiar with the toughness of the league. The goalkeeper was on the bench for the Cherries in their last Premier League match during the 2017/18 season. After loan spells at Chesterfield and AFC Wimbledon, Ramsdale became the first choice keeper for the Cherries just last season. The 22-year old was one of the positives in a forgetful season for Bournemouth. He started 37 of the 38 league matches for Bournemouth in his debut season. Sheffield United's Aaron Ramsdale relishing future England battle with rival Dean Henderson GOod friends they may be, but Aaron Ramsdale and Dean Henderson could well be the best of enemies in a few years' time. Goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale signs for Sheffield United and is welcomed by manager Chris Wilder at Bramall Lane. There are plenty of similarities between Sheffield United's new goalkeeper and their outgoing No 1 and it does not begin and end with their association with the Blades either. Ramsdale, who completed his big-money return to the Blades from Bournemouth on Wednesday, said: "If it works out the way we want it to, me and Deano could be seeing a lot of each other and hopefully in the next few years, we do. My goal is for Sheffield United to be a Premier League club next year and do better what we did last year (season). I hope he gets to either play for Manchester United or goes out on another loan and does really well as although it is competition, it's great seeing other young English players playing in the Premier League and I class him as one of my mates. By his own admission, Ramsdale left Bramall Lane as a boy in January 2017 when he moved to Bournemouth to enjoy the ride by the seaside. A happy-go-lucky lad when he started out with the Blades before heading south, relegation fights on loan at Chesterfield and AFC Wimbledon toughened him up as did fending for himself. "I was an 18-year-old boy loving League One football (at Sheffield United) and sitting on the bench winning each week and going for a drink with my team-mates. Alongside advice from the likes of his father and Howe, Ramsdale will also value some words of wisdom from another guiding force in his career in Bournemouth's ex-goalkeeper Artur Boruc. We are probably close and similar with the age and attitudes, but I am not going to come in and try and be something I am not. Sign up to our Sheffield United newsletter The i newsletter cut through the noise Sign up Thanks for signing up! Two years later, as he charts his journey from Sheffield United to Dorset and back again, it becomes apparent that Ramsdale is now a much more rounded and mature individual than the starry-eyed youngster whose tardiness infuriated Eddie Howe. With 80 senior appearances under his belt, nearly half of those coming in the top-flight last season, the former Steelphalt Academy graduate has developed into one of England's most promising goalkeepers. "I always wanted to come back," Ramsdale admits, as he casts his eyes across a near deserted Bramall Lane. Chris Wilder has brought Aaron Ramsdale back to Sheffield United: Richard Heathcote/Getty Images "When I first went down to Bournemouth, I was just a kid," Ramsdale continues. After completing loan spells with Chesterfield, where he worked under United's new academy director Jack Lester, and AFC Wimbledon, Ramsdale had done enough to convince Howe he was ready to be pitched into Bournemouth's starting eleven. Boruc, previously of Celtic, Fiorentina and Southampton, was clearly a big influence and, revealing how some important words of advice from the former Poland international helped turn his life around, Ramsdale also reveals the 40-year-old's counsel has equipped him with the tools required to fill Dean Henderson's gloves at Bramall Lane. "Artur, you listened to him because, to still be in the game at 40, doing what he's doing, he clearly knows what it takes," Ramsdale says. Goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale signs for Sheffield United at Bramall Lane, Sheffield. Ramsdale, aged 22, was a rare success story at Bournemouth last season - embellishing his reputation with a series of impressive displays which confirmed why, during his time in United's youth programme, many observers predicted he is destined to win full international honours. "I've changed but this club, well, it's changed too," Ramsdale says.