Injured Dean Henderson says ‘bring it home’ as Sheffield United’s Aaron Ramsdale gets England call-up

SHEFFIELD UNITED goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale has spared a thought for former Blades custodian Dean Henderson following his elevation to England’s Euro 2020 squad.

Sheffield United goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale.  (Photo by Peter Byrne - Pool/Getty Images)
Sheffield United goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale. (Photo by Peter Byrne - Pool/Getty Images)

Manchester United player Henderson, who spent two seasons on loan at Bramall Lane, has been forced to withdraw with a hip problem, with Ramsdale – part of Gareth Southgate’s provisional 33-man squad for the finals – to take Henderson’s place once he has completed Covid testing protocols.

Ramsdale, 23, who succeeded Henderson in the Blades goal following his move from Bournemouth last summer, joins a select band of club players to be named in an England squad for a major tournament.

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He follows in the footsteps of fellow goalkeepers Ted Burgin, who was a member of the nation’s 1954 World Cup party and Alan Hodgkinson, named in England’s squad for the World Cups in 1958 and 1962.

England call for Sheffield United's Aaron Ramsdale. Picture: Andrew Yates / Sportimage

Uncapped at senior level, Ramsdale and another keeper who now finds himself in the Championship in West Brom’s Sam Johnstone will both understudy No 1 Jordan Pickford.

Posting a message on Instagram, Ramsdale, named as the Blades’ player of the year in 2020-21, said: “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.

“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.”

Henderson had been struggling with a hip problem which curtailed his recent involvement in training.

As a result, England elected to take advantage of UEFA regulations which permit squads to replace goalkeepers on medical grounds at any stage of a tournament.

Henderson, who left St George’s Park on Tuesday afternoon, posted on Twitter: “I worked so hard to be in this position.

“I’m devastated to have to withdraw through injury!! I want to wish my team mates all the best for the up and coming games. BRING IT HOME.”

Ramsdale played for England at this year’s UEFA Under-21 European Championship in Slovenia in March and was part of the victorious Under-19 squad who won the UEFA Under-19 finals in 2017.

Meanwhile, defender Tyrone Mings has called on the largely positive response to England players taking the knee not to be overshadowed by jeers after Home Secretary Priti Patel said she did not support the gesture.

The England team knelt ahead of kick-off in their Euro 2020 victory over Croatia on Sunday, where a vocal minority within Wembley continued to boo the anti-racism stance.

It followed more vociferous jeering in the two warm-up matches at Middlesbrough’s Riverside Stadium and despite calls from Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Southgate and the Football Association not to react negatively to the gesture.

England’s players have insisted they will continue to take the knee despite the protestations of some and that the message should not get lost.

Aston Villa’s Mings, preparing for England’s match against Scotland at Wembley on Friday, said: “Understandably, when you have such strong beliefs, there will be opposition to that.

“So we spoke about it a lot, we spoke about trying to educate or trying to inform the minority who refuse to acknowledge why we’re taking the knee and want to do it.

“But, at the same time, in Wembley there was a hugely positive reaction to us taking the knee as well and I don’t think that should be overshadowed by the minority that refuse to accept what the reasons are, or don’t agree with them.”