Only a few months into his tenure as the number one at Sheffield United, Aaron Ramsdale is already finding himself under pressure.
Some poor decisions have led to Ramsdale conceding a few goals he could and should have kept out. The header against Wolves, the Kyle Walker fizzer (debatable), and this weekend’s error at Chelsea, all getting negative attention from fans.
Comparisons with Dean Henderson were inevitable when he signed. Indeed, on this site, we’ve tried to avoid that sort of talk. At the end of the day, Ramsdale is our man now, not a loanee from Man United.
But ESPN are now claiming that Henderson could be allowed out on loan again this season. David De Gea is still the number one at Old Trafford, with Henderson only making the odd appearance in cups and in Europe.
Naturally, talk has started to surface of a potential return to Bramall Lane for Henderson. It’s not a call you can just bat off. Henderson was brilliant at United and while ever we struggle and Ramsdale makes the odd error, question marks will remain.
But surely, for all Henderson’s talent, this is a route Chris Wilder won’t even consider going down?
Aaron Ramsdale will probably accept he could have done some things better in his short time back at United. Any goalkeeper isn’t happy conceding goals and he’ll have probably been as harsh as anyone on himself.
But it’s easy to forget when things are going wrong that he is actually doing some things well, too. Much like I wrote about John Lundstram earlier today, when things are going wrong, the mistakes are magnified to fans.
Ramsdale looks decent enough with the ball at his feet. He’s a good shot stopper, and he’s kept us in games this season already. Also, the defence in front of him is nowhere near as solid as it was last term.
Finally, this is a goalkeeper we’ve apparently paid around £18m for. Now, whether or not that figure is true, surely we aren’t investing that money and time going forward into someone we’re prepared to bin off after a few months?
Looking to bring Henderson in would be a huge kick in the teeth. Yes, he’s quality and yes he’s well liked in Sheffield. But would he really have got us many more points this term? It’s highly unlikely.
For all Ramsdale’s current struggles, it is the team around him as well who aren’t helping.
I fully expect Chris Wilder to throw his weight behind Ramsdale and back him to the hilt. Failing that, the gaffer will probably look within and give Wes Foderingham his chance if he feels Ramsdale needs a break.
Patience isn’t something we see often in football. But with this case, it’s important we give everyone – Ramsdale especially – the time to cement and secure himself outside the shadow of Dean Henderson.