It is easy to forget that Aaron Ramsey is still only 26 years old. The Welshman has already gone through a lot in his career so far. He suffered a career threatening injury when he was still in his teens and was also made captain of his national side at 20.
After coming back from that horrific injury, Ramsey took a couple of years to truly rediscover himself as Arsene Wenger kept patience with the young Welshman.
Then came that glorious 2013-14 season. Up until he was injured in the last week of December, Aaron Ramsey was one of the best players in the Premier league.
And before Luis Suarez went into over drive with Liverpool some where around November, Ramsey was the best player in England by some distance.
He suddenly found a purple patch that saw him score a bucket full of goals before his injury. While Ramsey was fit, Arsenal seemed like genuine title contenders and were on top of the league by the end of the year.
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But Ramsey’s absence coincidence with Arsenal’s derailment as Wenger saw his side falter in the title chase yet again.
Ramsey returned in time for the FA Cup final, where in he put a man of the match display and scored the winner, to give Arsenal their first trophy in nine years.
In the following season, Santi Cazorla was placed at the heart of the midfield. While Ramsey struggled with injury and form, Cazorla slowly started acclimatizing to his new found position at the center of the park.
When Ramsey came back, he was played as a winger and slowly but surely regained his best form. He started and played well in Arsenal’s successive FA Cup victory at the end of the season.
Ramsey struggled with injuries in the next season as he could not sustain a run of games to keep hold of a place in the starting line up. It was also the season of missed opportunity, as Arsenal came second to Leicester City in the league.
Then came the Euros with Wales, where in Aaron Ramsey was one of the best players in the tournament. With a fancy new haircut to boot, Ramsey was instrumental was Wales and his absence was deeply felt in his side’s semi-final defeat to Portugal.
Arsenal fans were salivating at the prospect of seeing Ramsey and Xhaka in midfield, but were left extremely disappointed by the Welshman.
Injuries and lack of form saw the Arsenal fans getting on his back, as Ramsey just could not replicate the form that he showed in the 2013-14 season. When Wenger changed to a back three, Ramsey became of vital importance again in midfield as his improved form saw a change in fortunes for the club.
Once again, Aaron Ramsey starred in the FA Cup final as he grabbed the winner against Chelsea. And now we see an underlying pattern over the years for Arsenal and Ramsey.
In the last four years, Aaron Ramsey has been at the heart of the everything good for Arsenal. A great performance from Ramsey invariably means a great performance from Arsenal, while a poor showing usually ends up being a pretty bad result for the Gunners.
Ramsey has always been taken for granted by everyone. People always spoke of Wilshere being the next great Arsenal midfielder, while Ramsey was cast aside. Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez’s arrivals immediately made them the biggest stars in the club and rightfully so.
But Wenger always saw something special in Ramsey, and stuck by him when nobody else gave him a chance. As it stands, Wilshere may not be at the club beyond this season, while Ramsey will still be.
That being said, Ramsey just has two years left on his contract which is why it is imperative that Arsenal sign him up for the long haul. Because no matter what anyone says, Aaron Ramsey is the heartbeat of Arsenal and the closest semblance of a leader that they have on the pitch.
It is time for Rambo to finally take center stage at the Emirates!