Aaron Ramsdale has returned to Sheffield United after joining from Bournemouth on a four-year deal.
The England Under-21 goalkeeper began his career with the Blades before leaving to join Bournemouth in 2017 and Chris Wilder’s side are believed to have spent £18.5m to secure his return.
The 22-year-old, who was voted Bournemouth supporters’ player of the year last season, is set to replace Dean Henderson at Bramall Lane after the on-loan Manchester United goalkeeper confirmed he would not be returning. Ramsdale was thought to be keen to stay in the Premier League following Bournemouth’s relegation and is delighted to be back.
“I’m very fortunate to be able to come back to a place I call home and I’m just excited to get going, see the lads I left behind and meet the new ones now in the team,” he said.
“I’m delighted, it wasn’t an easy decision to leave Bournemouth but when a club comes in for you, shows that faith it has and is willing to pay this sort of money then obviously I’ve got to do a lot to repay it but my smile has been ear to ear since I walked back through the door.”
Bournemouth had hoped to hold on to their player, despite their five-year top-flight stay coming to an end and rejected an initial bid of around £12m. Ramsdale moved from Sheffield United to the Vitality Stadium in 2017 for £800,000 and went on to play 37 times in the Premier League for Bournemouth, having made his debut against Wilder’s side last August.
The £18.5m fee includes the 15% sell-on clause United inserted into the initial deal between the clubs. Wilder was in the market for a new keeper after loanee Henderson, who on Wednesday wrote a tribute to the Blades, returned to parent club Manchester United.
Wilder added: “The goalkeeping situation is something we have to make sure we get right. This is not about Dean [Henderson], it’s about bringing Aaron in, but Dean was outstanding for us for two years. We know a lot about Aaron, we’ve watched him develop on loan at Chesterfield and then AFC Wimbledon and obviously we’ve watched him this season too.”
Henderson earlier wrote on Twitter: “I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone at Sheffield United for the last two years. Winning promotion to the Premier League with my brothers and having the season we had this season is something I will never forget.
“I would like to thank the manager, my teammates, the backroom staff and of course, the fans, who have been unbelievable towards to me. I will look back at the last two years as an important chapter in my career and more than anything I’m grateful to have had the opportunity to learn and develop with such a class group of lads.”