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First team

Cook toasts Ramsdale's Three Lions call-up


AFC Bournemouth AFC Bournemouth

Steve Cook has expressed his delight at Aaron Ramsdale’s call-up for England – even though it has scuppered a night out for the former AFC Bournemouth team-mates.

Cherries skipper Cook had been planning to “have a beer” with Ramsdale before the goalkeeper was this week drafted in to the Three Lions squad for the European Championship.

Ramsdale, who left Cherries for Sheffield United in August 2020, was brought in as an emergency replacement for Dean Henderson after he was forced to withdraw due to a hip injury.  

Originally a member of Gareth Southgate’s 33-man pre-tournament group for friendlies in Middlesbrough, Ramsdale was one of seven players omitted from the 26-strong squad for the Euros.

Under UEFA regulations for Euro 2020, teams are permitted to replace goalkeepers on medical grounds throughout the tournament.

Ramsdale replaced Henderson as Sheffield United’s number one after he had spent two years on loan to the Blades from Manchester United, helping them win promotion to the Premier League in 2018/19.

Ever-present as Sheffield United were relegated last season, Ramsdale was part of the England under-19 squad which won the 2017 Euros and has 15 caps for the under-21s, but is yet to make his senior debut.

“I’m over the moon for him,” said Cook. “He’s done incredibly well. He’s been in the England set-up for a long time now and has had to wait for a bit of misfortune for Dean Henderson.

“I was arranging to have a beer with him next week but we’ve had to put that on hold now he’s training with England!

“I’m delighted for him. He’s such a good guy and at such a young age as well. It’s a great learning curve for him.”

Ramsdale, player of the year at Vitality Stadium in 2019/20, will compete with Jordan Pickford and Sam Johnstone for the starting berth in Southgate’s team.

Everton’s Pickford started England’s opening win over Croatia on Sunday, while WBA’s Johnstone impressed on his debut during the 1-0 victory against Romania earlier this month.

Following the win over Croatia at Wembley, England return to the national stadium for Friday’s clash with Scotland and their final group game against Czech Republic on June 22nd.

Discussing England’s chances of winning the Euros, Cook said: “I thought we were outstanding in the first game and we could have won the game by more than one goal.

“It will be a totally different challenge against Scotland on Friday. I’ve always backed England and, over the years, I’m one of the many English supporters who believes we can win everything.

“I think the squad we’ve got, at such a young age as well, has a great chance.”

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