Gareth Southgate has been singing Aaron Ramsdale’s praises and has revealed how the goalkeeper spoke to him in the summer about returning to the Premier League with Arsenal.
Ramsdale, who travelled with England to the Euros, is still waiting for his first cap, but it doesn’t seem like it will take him long to take Jordan Pickford’s number one shirt from him.
Speaking to the press after announcing the England squad for their games against Albania and San Marino, Gareth Southgate was asked about Ramsdale’s inclusion in his squad and about the rumour that Ramsdale spoke to the England manager about moving back to the Premier League with Arsenal.
“When players ask me things like that I don’t put the England context on it because I often read about players having to move because of their World Cup hopes,” Southgate said.
“Well, yes, but in the end they have to be content and happy with life at their dub – and that’s got to be the first thing you sort out. He knew it was a challenge going to Arsenal, trying to get in the team.
“He’s got in earlier than he thought he might have done when he initially moved there, but he was prepared to take the challenge on.
“When we picked him in the summer, we got stick for picking a keeper that had got relegated. So, it’s funny how things change, isn’t it?” said Southgate.
“We have liked that personality. One of the reasons we brought him in in the summer, we knew that personality from the under-20s and the under-21s.
“He’d been across to train with us previously. We felt he fitted in with the group really well. He understood that his role was to sacrifice for the group.
“He’s progressing really well. His performances at the end of last season were very good and his performances at the beginning of this season have been very good as well.
“One of the things I’m conscious of is when players travel and don’t always play that it has got a shelf life and over the years, with goalkeepers, that has caused quite a few to retire from international football,” Southgate said.
“We’ve tried to manage that with Nick Pope and Sam Johnstone and a few others. We’ve tried to give them a taste. At some point, we’ll be doing that with Aaron. Yes, there’s a contest on and that’s good for everyone.”