Aaron Ramsey, a name that most divides opinion among the Gunner fan base. Ramsey spent his childhood years at Cardiff City, playing for the youth team before bursting into the first team at the age of 16. His debut in the championship was as a substitute to replace Paul Parry in the final minute of a game against Hull City which Cardiff City eventually lost 1-0. He went on to make a further 22 appearances for Cardiff in the following season. Come June 2008, Cardiff received multiple offers for the young midfielder but the persuasion of Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger tilted his decision towards the Gunners and the move was finally completed on June 13th for a fee of £4.8 million. He soon made his Premier League & Champions League bows for the Gunners and worked his way into the first team. A season later, Ramsey was given with a new long-term contract. He was the heir apparent to Fabregas’ exalted throne.
Come Saturday 27th of February 2010, a day that Ramsey would certainly like to erase from his memory, an horrendous tackle from Stoke City’s Ryan Shawcross left him in agony on the pitch and he was soon stretchered off and rushed to the hospital where it was revealed that he had broken his tibia & fibula. It was a sore sight for all gunners, to see a young player being stretchered off with a double fracture in his left leg. But his return was beckoning and he soon started training in October that year. Ramsey was loaned for a period of 1 month each to Nottingham Forest & Cardiff City to gain fitness and returned to the Emirates in February 2011.
Even with his match fitness returning, he still lacked the sharpness and desire to go all in into a tackle for which he was known. The tackle by Shawcross seemed to haunt him & this prompted manager Arsene Wenger to deploy him on the wings, but this was mainly due to the fact that Arsenal lacked any true quality wingers – it just seemed to patch up holes instead of fixing the real problem. Slowly the confidence seemed to creep its way back in as Ramsey put in some good performances down the wings.
Since the turn of January this year, he has started showing flashes of his truly brilliant self. With Jack Wilshere still having troubles with his ankle, Ramsey made the most of the opportunity of being allowed to play in his favoured position – a more central role. This has led to a significant change in his performance ( which many of us who truly believe in him expected anyway). Controlling & dictating midfield and drifting forward whenever the opportunity arises, Ramsey has certainly filled the void left by the ever-reliable Wilshere. This free role allows Ramsey, Cazorla & Arteta to interchange positions with the latter preferring to play in an anchoring role.
If he continues with his recent performance, Arsenal fans can look forward to a bright future with a midfield consisting of Wilshere, Ramsey & Cazorla that definitely holds the potential to unlock any defense.