Former Sheffield United goalkeeper Paddy Kenny has urged Sheffield United goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale to remain at Bramall Lane this summer after two successive relegations, in an interview with Football Insider.
23-year-old Ramsdale broke through at AFC Bournemouth during the 2019/20 season, impressing for the Cherries and being one of their standout players as they were relegated back to the Championship.
He wasn’t in the second tier for long though, with Sheffield United moving to re-sign their former goalkeeper for an £18.5m fee after offloading him to Scott Parker’s side back in 2017.
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But despite the Blades’ promising 2019/20 campaign, finishing ninth in the Premier League that season, their form took a turn for the worst after the Covid-19 restart and have endured a tough past 12 months as they ended up at the foot of the top-tier table.
Again, Ramsdale was a shining light in what was a dark campaign at Bramall Lane and earned himself a call-up to Gareth Southgate’s provisional squad ahead of this year’s European Championships, eventually joining up with the Three Lions during the tournament when Dean Henderson was forced to withdraw with a hip issue.
With his performances in the latter stages of the 2020/21 season, Sheffield United’s relegation and Arsenal in need of a goalkeeper after the expiration of Mathew Ryan’s loan deal at the Emirates, the Gunners have already launched two bids for the Sheffield United keeper, both of which have been rejected.
According to Sky Sports, Mikel Arteta’s side are preparing to launch a third bid. And though it would be a great opportunity to link up with a Premier League giant like Arsenal, Blades legend Paddy Kenny believes his future is best served in South Yorkshire.
Speaking to Football Insider about the 23-year-old shot-stopper, Kenny said: “Me personally, I think it would be good for him to stay. He’s had two relegations now and I think he needs a good season.
“He’ll have an amazing career and is a massive prospect. But I don’t think it would do him any good to go to Arsenal and risk not being number one when he’s got so used to playing.
“It will be good for his confidence if he can stay at Sheffield United and be in a successful team that hopefully are gonna be pushing for promotion.
“When you are winning, you do things and they come off. When you’re losing, they don’t. It’s a confidence game and he could build that at Sheffield United.”
Paddy Kenny has hit the nail on the head here.
Ramsdale needs a positive season after two consecutive relegations and considering Arsenal’s decline in recent years and the unhappiness surrounding the club, this would not be a wise move for the goalkeeper at this stage in his career.
He may have iffy moments, but Bernd Leno is still a top-quality goalkeeper and the Sheffield United stopper would find it hard to claim the number one spot in north London, despite his obvious quality.
With Sheffield United, he is likely to be part of a promotion-chasing team under a top-quality manager in Slavisa Jokanovic and if the Serbian can keep most of his existing squad together and make a few additions, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see the Blades and Ramsdale return to the Premier League for the 2022/23 season.
He may worry about his international chances with England if he remains in the Championship, but not playing regularly would harm his chances even more so he should stick to his guns and continue to remain committed to the cause in South Yorkshire.