Aaron Ramsey Is Fast Becoming Arsenal's Key Player After an Excellent Start

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Aaron Ramsey Is Fast Becoming Arsenal's Key Player After an Excellent Start
Jamie McDonald/Getty Images
Ramsey has been Arsenal's star so far

Arsene Wenger himself has been as surprised as anyone by the form of Aaron Ramsey this season.

In a team possessing the magic touch of Mesut Ozil, the diminutive creativity of Santi Cazorla and the passing presence of Jack Wilshere, you would have been a brave man at the start of the season to predict that Ramsey would have been Arsenal's main man.

But that is how it has been, and full credit to him.


The Stats

It is not just the goal tally that has been impressive (and six in seven IS incredibly impressive); it is his overall performances that have also caught the eye.

Against Marseille on Wednesday night, he completed 74 passes out of a possible 89 (83 percent), as well making five successful tackles out of a possible seven. In both cases the most of any player on the pitch.

He also made more clearances, four, than any other player on the pitch who wasn't a defender, and completed more passes in the attacking third than Ozil25/34 to 21/25—which was the second most to any player on the pitch behind Marseille's Mathieu Valbuena (40/47).

Bacary Sagna to Ramsey (14), Ozil to Ramsey (13) and Mathieu Flamini to Ramsey (12) were Arsenal's three most prolific passing combinations. He was involved in eight out of Arsenal's top 10. 

It was an extremely impressive all-round display from the Welshman.


Resurgence

Clearly spurred on by Wenger's continued faith in him and relishing an extended run in his favoured position, he has come into his own this season.

Whether it be the deepest lying midfielder or in a pivot playing just ahead of Mathieu Flamini, he has been exceptional in both roles.

In the past he has often been forced to play second fiddle behind Wilshere, but that appears to no longer be the case as the roles have somewhat reversed.

During last Saturday's game against Sunderland, Ramsey was the one given the central midfield berth, and Wilshere was the one who was shifted to the left.

So often it has been the other way round, but Ramsey has cemented his position for Arsenal now in the middle of their midfield. Now it is up to Wilshere to try to get it back. 

It is fantastic that he is finally starting to look like the player that everyone thought he could be when he was signed from Cardiff in 2008.

It shouldn't be forgotten that he suffered a horrific leg break in 2010 and it took him an awful long while to recover. Better players than him struggle to fully recuperate from very bad injuries. Arsenal fans need only remind themselves of how it was for Eduardo both before and after his injury. 

Ramsey now looks fully confident and as if he feels as though he wants to be involved in football matches again, with his attacking and defensive stats impressive in equal measure.

And if Arsenal are going to get the very best out of their impressive attacking quartet of Cazorla, Ozil, Theo Walcott and Olivier Giroud, then they will need Ramsey at his very best behind them pulling the strings.

Few players have received more criticism from fans and pundits alike in recent seasons, and rightly so in some ways because he has been a liability at times for Arsenal.

But it is great that he is now starting to prove them all wrong. Long may it continue.


Stats courtesy of FourFourTwo and WhoScored.

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