Aaron Ramsdale said he didn’t realise Chris Wilder actually rated him when he left Sheffield United in 2017.
Ramsdale has returned to the club in an £18.5m deal (BBC Sport), having spent the past three-and-a-half years with Bournemouth.
When the 22-year-old exited Bramall Lane he was only 18 and had just two senior appearances to his name.
Yet his £1m (BBC Sport) move to the Cherries wasn’t down to Wilder not wanting him. It was because the club needed the money to build a squad capable of getting promoted from League One.
When asked if he knew how highly Wilder rated him, Ramsdale told the club’s website: “At the time, probably not.
“I understood the situation. It allowed this club to bring in some good players and it got us out of the league we were in at the time – League One.
“I owe a lot of gratitude towards the manager for bringing me back and also giving me my chance when I was a 17/18-year-old lad.”
Ramsdale and Wilder reunite
Since the goalkeeper was last at the club they have been promoted twice. They also finished ninth in their first Premier League season in 12 years.
Many players Wilder signed in the months after Ramsdale departed – such as George Baldock and Enda Stevens – remain important first team players to this day. And perhaps he wouldn’t have landed them without the cash provided by the sale of the England Under-21 international.
Ramsdale says Wilder has remained in contact with him throughout his time at Bournemouth; which included his loan spells at Chesterfield and Wimbledon.
And the ‘keeper now knows that the reason for his exit back in 2017 was nothing to do with his performance levels.
“If he didn’t rate me, he wouldn’t have come back in for me,” Ramsdale added.