Aaron Ramsey: Player Profile

Ramsey Back To His Scintillating Best

Personal information
Full name: Aaron James Ramsey
Date of birth: 26 December 1990
Age: 23
Place of birth: Caerphilly, Wales
Height: 1.77 m (5 ft 10 in)
Playing position: Midfielder

Club information 
Current team: Arsenal
Number: 16

Youth career
1999–2006: Cardiff City

Senior career
2006–2008: Cardiff City 22 Appearances, 2 goals
2008– Arsenal: 205 Appearances, 33 goals
2010–2011 → Nottingham Forest (loan) 5 Appearances, 0 goals
2011 → Cardiff City (loan) 6 Appearances, 1 goal

National team
2005–2008: Wales U17 15 Appearances, 2 goals
2007–2009: Wales U21 12 Appearances, 2 goals
2008– Wales 30 Appearances, 8 goals
2012– Great Britain 5 Appearances, 1 goal

Aaron Ramsey only played for 45 minutes against Galatasaray, but his performance was enough to generate a buzz of excitement among Arsenal fans. In the stands of Istanbul and across social media, the message was the same: “He’s back.”

For much of this campaign, Ramsey has looked like a player in regression. Last season, Ramsey was Arsenal’s undisputed Player of the Season. However, he has struggled to recapture that form in 2014/15. At times, he’s resembled the midfielder who felt his way back to form after that horrific broken leg; he’s been both indecisive and wasteful in possession and neglectful of his defensive duties.

However, the indications are that his confidence is returning. The upward trajectory in his form began a few weeks ago, with Ramsey eschewing his goalscoring drive to play a simpler role, starting from deeper in the Arsenal midfield. From that solid base, embellishments are beginning to blossom.  Against Stoke, Ramsey ended a 16-game wait for a goal. That strike—a thumping volley from a corner—seems to have revitalised Ramsey’s belief in front of goal. He scored twice against Galatasaray. The first was a tidy finish off his left foot. Perhaps encouraged by that moment, his second was quite audacious. Ramsey used his weaker boot to strike a bouncing ball from 35 yards into the far-top corner. Even his team-mates shook their heads in disbelief, and many of the Galatasaray fans joined the travelling Arsenal faithful in their applause. This performance was about more than goals, though. He got stuck in, too. He completed 85% of his passes and notched up an assist, playing the ball to Lukas Podolski for the opening goal. With Ramsey playing like this, Arsenal’s need for a defensive midfielder does not seem quite so pronounced. He was everywhere, tearing through the Galatasaray midfield at will. In tandem with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Arsenal’s midfield engine room simply had too much power for their Turkish opposition to handle. At half-time, Ramsey was withdrawn. The Arsenal staff cited a tight thigh muscle, but the reality is surely that the change was a mere precaution. Ramsey was in such remarkable form that Arsene Wenger could not risk yet another injury blow.

Step back 12 months in time, and the world of football seemed a very different place. Arsene Wenger's side were flying, and for the most part, that was down to the scintillating form of Aaron Ramsey. After a difficult few seasons following that horrific leg break against Stoke City, Ramsey seemed to have finally found his feet once more. Not only was he contributing with assists and neat build-up play, but he was also weighing in with a heavy share of goals, too. In his first 10 games last season, Ramsey had six goals to his name. The Welshman was an integral part of the side, but a lengthy spell on the sidelines was looming once again. Ramsey would be injured for a fair chunk of the start of 2014, and by the time he returned, Arsenal were well and truly out of the title picture. What Arsenal have been missing is the Ramsey we have seen in recent weeks, calm, composed and able to make play happen from the back of midfield.

With the busy Christmas schedule ahead, and Arsenal's domestic form dwindling, Wenger will be hoping that this is the start of something special for Ramsey. With Ramsey in this form, Arsenal stand a far greater chance of getting their season back on track. A string of similar performances in the next few weeks could see Arsenal shrug off their current domestic malaise and climb the league; such is his influence when he is on form. Given the pressure that Wenger and his side are under at the present moment, they certainly need a spark from somewhere and Ramsey looks just the player to provide it.