Arsenal coach Arsene Wenger is full of praise for man of the moment Aaron Ramsey, a player he claims to have an ‘obsession’ to improve his game.
Mesut Ozil has grabbed the majority of headlines following his club record £42.5million move to the Gunners on deadline day, and his performances since would suggest this will prove to be money well spent. However, it is Ramsey who is the talk of the Emirates Stadium at the moment, following his sensational start to the new season.
The Wales international has endured a long and often difficult return to the game, having suffered a horrific leg break at Stoke City in February 2010. Although he was kicking a ball again nine months later, he was unsurprisingly way off the pace and Wenger sent him on loan to Nottingham Forest and then his former club, Cardiff City.
Ramsey returned to Arsenal in February 2011, and in May scored the only goal of the game against Manchester United. The midfielder racked up 70 appearances in the Premier League in the following two seasons, and although he showed glimpses of his quality, his performances at times left fans wondering if he could ever return to his very best.
However, this season the 22-year-old has been better than ever. His goal at Marseille in the UEFA Champions League on Wednesday, which proved to be the winner in a 2-1 win, was his sixth in seven appearances this term. He has now emerged as one of the key men for the Gunners, and Wenger believes the youngster deserves all the plaudits he gets.
“It took him a long time to get completely over that (the injury),” he said. “He had a difficult period last season where people became a little bit impatient with him. He lost confidence and sometimes, if you give the players a little rest, it can rebuild their confidence. They can think about their game and come back stronger and that’s what happened to him.
“As for the rest, he scores goals now. I always thought he would score goals if he improved his technical quality. When you watched the games, you saw him always in good positions in the box. When he got the chances he missed sometimes but he has improved tremendously on that. He has a great engine, a great spirit and has an obsession; he always wants to be better. That is, of course, a very good ingredient.”
Ramsey will hope to continue his impressive start to the season on Sunday afternoon, when Stoke visit the Emirates Stadium. The Gunners will be looking to build on their recent good form, which has seen them bounce back from an opening day 3-1 home defeat to Aston Villa to record three successive wins to spark suggestions of a genuine title bid.