Sheffield United goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale has paid tribute to former Blades stopper Dean Henderson, with the latter having to withdraw from the England squad through injury.
Henderson was previously tipped to be Jordan Pickford’s understudy after impressing for Manchester United last season and made the 26-man squad ahead of Ramsdale – but has suffered a hip issue that “would limit his involvement” and as a result, has now had to pull out of England’s European Championships squad.
This gives Ramsdale, who missed out to West Brom’s Sam Johnstone when the squad was cut down to 26 members, the chance to be fully involved in the tournament. However, after seeing a fellow keeper having to withdraw, it’s a day of mixed emotions for the 23-year-old.
On Instagram a short while ago, Ramsdale uploaded a picture with the caption: “While I’m delighted to be joining back up with England, my immediate thoughts are with Deano as I know how much it meant to him to be involved.
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“I have now been given the honour and to be involved in a major tournament is what dreams are made of. This is a special moment for me and my family.”
With England’s second group game against Scotland coming down the tracks, Ramsdale will need to get in the swing of things quite quickly ahead of Friday’s match.
Manager Gareth Southgate named two goalkeepers on the bench against Croatia and if he decides to employ the same strategy, the Sheffield United keeper and West Brom’s Sam Johnstone will both be among the substitutes in three days time.
This Instagram message was a touch of class from the 23-year-old and you would expect no less from a man who remains committed to his club despite their relegation.
In his previous post on the social media platform, Ramsdale showed no bitterness at all about not making the cut and thoroughly deserves his chance to impress Gareth Southgate – and he’s the type of character you would want to have around this England squad with such high expectations.
Despite being an unfortunate beneficiary from the injuries to Henderson and Burnley’s Nick Pope, Ramsdale will now be looking to prove to Gareth Southgate that he has what it takes in training to earn future call-ups.
And while he may not play a single minute in the tournament, this is wonderful news for him and his family as he travels to join the England camp. It’s an opportunity the keeper will grab with both hands.