Disclaimer: This is in no way, shape, or form considered a final statement about Aaron Ramsey being Steven Gerrard's equal in any way.
I merely wish to expound upon an idea that came to me during an early-morning walkabout: that the Welshman somewhat resembles the iconic English midfielder in terms of how they play, and their positioning on the field.
Even for Arsene Wenger, renowned connoisseur when it comes to scouting young talent, this seemed a bit extreme.
During Euro 2008 the French manager flew out a young Welsh prodigy and his family to Switzerland on a private jet with the intention of persuading one Aaron Ramsey to commit his future to the Arsenal cause.
We know little of what was said in that meeting, but we do know the ensuing result.
Ramsey, 17 at the time, left Cardiff City for Arsenal for a fee of £4.8 million despite serious interest from Manchester United and other top clubs. Wenger had sealed the arrival of yet another midfield starlet.
The Welshman wasted little time in making an impact with the first team, scoring in the 2008 Champions League group stage away to Fenerbace.
He was in no way an incontrovertible starter, but he did appear in 22 games overall in 2008-09, showing some glimpses of the boundless talent that had first intrigued Wenger.
There was the power, eye for the pass, and attacking intent mixed well with uncommon determination. The kid simply "got it."
2009-10 looked to be the year that Ramsey would make his breakthrough. He had signed a long-term contract extension with the club the summer before the season, and he was getting more games.
He had appeared 29 times for Arsenal in all competitions by the end of February 2010, and had scored a couple fantastic goals, showing superb technique and savoir-faire in front of goal so rare in most midfielders.
Then came the horrific double-leg break suffered away to Stoke City. Ramsey's once-rapid ascent came to a screeching halt, and he was forced to convalesce for nearly eight months before finally returning to full training.
Interestingly enough, Ramsey has shown few of the ill-effects and niggling injuries that have plagued other Arsenal players who've endured leg breaks (Eduardo, Abou Diaby) since his return to Arsenal last spring after loan spells with Nottingham Forest and Cardiff City.
He has built upon his comeback at the tail end of last season to make 26 appearances for the Gunners in 2011-12, with Wenger entrusting him with the attacking midfield role in the 4-2-3-1 formation most recently occupied by Cesc Fabregas.
While Ramsey is in no way a carbon copy of the since-departed Catalan (speaking of comparisons—see title of this slideshow), he does earn some favorable comparisons to a certain English midfielder from certain pundits.
Steven Gerrard is a sublime technician himself, who has forged a glittering career based upon hard-nosed determination mixed with incredible skill.
Ramsey is nowhere near Gerrard at this juncture in his career—in fairness, he has been far too inconsistent in matches this season, often trying unnecessary bits of individual skill when a simple pass would suffice—but he does possess the talent to make a name for himself much in the way the Liverpudlian has for Liverpool over the years.
Here's five ways that Ramsey mirrors Gerrard. Well, sort of (ducks from objects thrown at him).