Focus on Arsenal: is it time for Arsene Wenger to let the Wales captain Aaron Ramsey leave the club?
After making a £5 million move from Cardiff City to Arsenal back in 2008, it has been an eventful journey for Aaron Ramsey that has seen joy, pain and frustration.
After impressing in a Cardiff shirt at such a young age, there was a lot of hype surrounding Ramsey and top clubs were soon knocking on the door, trying to secure his services.
The initial enquiry came from Sir Alex Ferguson but Everton and Arsenal soon followed suit. It was Arsene Wenger who managed to snap the young Welshman up and he would soon gain first-team experience.
After making good progress in the first couple of years, Ramsey suffered a horrific double fracture of his right leg and a long lay off was expected.
Ramsey returned to football in October 2010 and he was then loaned out to both Cardiff City and Nottingham Forest as he tried to regain full fitness.
His return to the Arsenal team that season was a successful one, he managed to score the winning goal against Manchester United and in the same match, he was named as the man of the match.
It was looking like Aaron Ramsey was back on track to become the exciting player that many thought he would be; unfortunately his progression was abruptly halted.
The 2011-12 season for Ramsey has been one of much frustration as he has performed poorly on the whole but has scored a couple of crucial goals in the process.
These came in the form of a winning goal in the Champions League against Marseille and an important strike in the 2-1 win at Sunderland.
These have been the only notable contributions from a player who was expected to kick on in his career and instead, has lost his place in the side because of his poor form.
Up until the match against Wigan at the Emirates Stadium, Arsenal were lining up with three in the centre of midfield.
These consisted of Mikel Arteta, Tomas Rosicky and Alex Song. A perfect blend of craft, energy and grit, Arsenal’s performances began to improve and so did their results and there seemed to be no place in the side for Ramsey.
Prior to the resurrection of Rosicky, Ramsey would feature quite often but his inability to hold the ball and pick out the right pass was becoming more notable and the Emirates crowd was quickly making its feelings known towards the Wales captain.
He has regained his position in the starting line-up due to an injury that has ended Mikel Arteta’s season.
Already you can see the difference in the Gunners side as the tempo is a lot slower and Ramsey just cannot seem to keep possession as much as he should. Against Chelsea on Saturday, he simply had a shocker. Three or four times he was caught napping in possession and every single time, it was a chance for Arsenal to execute a counter-attack.
Aaron Ramsey will no doubt be given more chances in the Arsenal side as Wenger seems to have his rose-tinted glasses on, but the majority of Arsenal fans would prefer it if he were not in the starting eleven come 3pm on Saturday.
Injury and the extra pressure of being the Wales captain has not helped his progression at all and to make it worse, he had to deal with the tragic death of his international manager at the time, Gary Speed.
Despite all this, there was expectation on Ramsey to become a great Arsenal midfield player, maybe even the long term replacement for Cesc Fabregas and you feel if he doesn’t buck his ideas up, Aaron Ramsey could just be another kid who didn’t reach his potential.