Aaron Ramsdale refused to play for Sheffield United against West Brom after he felt they were messing him around with his Arsenal move.
Aaron Ramsdale’s transfer to Arsenal was one of the sagas of the summer, dragging on for more than two months as the Gunners tried to agree a fee with Sheffield United.
Speaking on Ben Foster’s YouTube channel, Ramsdale revealed that he’d informed the club he wanted the move, but that he was willing to keep giving his best on the pitch and on the training ground in Sheffield until Arsenal made an acceptable offer.
That changed in early August, as Arsenal started to up their bids but the deal showed no signs of getting done.
That obviously changed things for Ramsdale, who felt Arsenal had now made an acceptable offer.
Reports at the time suggested the goalkeeper was considering making a transfer request.
According to Ramsdale himself, a comment from someone within Sheffield United Football Club then pushed him over the edge.
“Normally, if you don’t get your move, you are rewarded with a new contract,” Ramsdale said.
“So we said that (to Sheffield United).
“Someone at the football club – [I] won’t name names – said ‘we didn’t ask him to take less money when he was conceding goals at the start of last year’.
“So, that was when I basically went ‘no, I won’t play against West Brom, do what you want.’
“I didn’t train for the first two days…and the manager was like ‘no, he’ll be alright, he’ll play.’
“Tuesday came and I was like ‘no, I’m not playing.’
“Then Wednesday, the team news comes out that I’m not in the squad. Then within 45 minutes, or 10 minutes before kick-off, I was on my way down (to Arsenal).”
As Foster points out on the show, it worked out for everyone in the end.
Perhaps Sheffield United didn’t get quite as much as they were pushing for (there were some reports of £40m at the time), but they still got a significant fee.
Arsenal obviously got their man, and Ramsdale got his move.
For Ramsdale, it was a chance to join a club with a guaranteed Premier League status, pushing for Europe.
He knew he’d at least get minutes in the cups, and Arsenal were in a good location for his partner – who works in London.
It’s probably worked out a lot better than Ramsdale or Arsenal hoped, so it’s a good thing the young goalkeeper pushed the move through.