Sheffield United goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale has been called up to the England squad after Manchester United’s Dean Henderson was forced to pull out with a hip injury.
Ramsdale was initially selected for the provisional 33-man England squad ahead of the European Championships last month after impressing in goal for the Blades last season.
Although Nick Pope’s injury gave Ramsdale a real chance to make Gareth Southgate’s final cut, Sam Johnstone would be the man to join Henderson and Everton’s Jordan Pickford as the third goalkeeper when the squad had to be trimmed to 26 for the tournament.
However, the tournament’s rules regarding goalkeepers, stating they “can be replaced during the tournament in the event of physical incapacity, even if one or two goalkeepers in the squad are still available”, has meant the Sheffield United stopper has come in handy for the Three Lions.
Although Ramsdale has experience at youth level for his country, he is yet to make an appearance for the senior England team and was an unused substitute in both of their friendly games against Austria and Romania earlier this month.
The 23-year-old will now link up with his international teammates ahead of their second group stage game against Scotland, with Raheem Sterling giving England the win against Croatia in Group D’s opening game.
Although Ramsdale would not wish this injury on former Blades loanee Henderson, this is a dream call-up for a man who has endured a tough campaign at Sheffield United in 2020/21 and is likely to begin his next domestic season in the Championship.
Jordan Pickford wasn’t troubled against Croatia and with the Everton keeper’s good performances for England, along with his intelligent distribution, he is unlikely to be dropped by Gareth Southgate unless he makes a costly mistake.
Sam Johnstone may now be promoted to second choice after impressing against Romania earlier on in the month – but further injuries in the goalkeeping department could come yet and Ramsdale may possibly find himself making his senior debut at the Euros.
However, just appearing in the squad would be a major achievement for the 23-year-old and with Southgate naming two goalkeepers on the bench against Croatia, the Sheffield United stopper is likely to make the bench for Scotland.