Former Sheffield United player Aaron Ramsdale has confirmed that he did refuse to play for the Blades before he finalised his move to Arsenal in the summer.
The Yorkshire club had slapped a £40m price tag on the goalkeeper; a figure which Ramsdale believed to be extortionate. After being promised he could leave if bids were received for him, he says he felt justified in downing tools:
“I didn’t train for the first two days, and the manager was like, ‘he’ll be alright, he’ll play’, and Tuesday came and I said, ‘I’m not playing.’ Wednesday the team news comes out that I’m not in the squad and then within 45 minutes, about 10 minutes before kick-off – I was on my way down [to sign].”
United sold Ramsdale for an initial £24m, with an additional £6m in performance-related bonuses, so they effectively had to settle for £10m less than they were hoping for.
Considering the 23-year-old’s excellent performances for the Gunners since his move to the Emirates, the Blades may well be regretting not holding out for more, even if it meant keeping a disgruntled player.
While Ramsdale is being refreshingly honest by admitting that he did go on strike, it is disappointing to hear that he couldn’t have been a bit more professional about things.