Arsenal welcomed the return of Aaron Ramsey to the side last weekend, with the Welsh midfielder’s 13 match absence coming to an end. Ramsey, who was left injured after the Gunner’s opening Premier League fixture, finally returned against Sunderland, and made an instant impact by grabbing an assist only minutes later.
Ramsey was originally only expected to be ruled out for a few games after picking up an injury back in August. It was anticipated that he’d miss the next few fixtures but that he would be back in training by around late September at most. In typical Arsenal style however, set backs to his return weren’t far away and he returned to training later than anticipated. He struggled to get his fitness back up, much like Giroud who has also had an issue with fitness post-Euros.
Many believed that Arsene Wenger had rushed him back from his summer break and that a lack of fitness and preparation was therefore the reason for why he struggled during the Liverpool match. Ramsey had a prolific tournament with his national side at the European Championships in France, helping Wales reach the semi finals. Despite reaching the latter stages, Ramsey was rushed back to club football much earlier than other European hotshots, including Mesut Ozil who reached the same stage of the competition with Germany.
Ramsey is a well known fan favourite of Arsene Wenger. Wenger seems to love to have Ramsey in his side, no matter his readiness, confidence or form and in the past that has worked against us. However this time around, it may work in Arsenal’s favour to see Ramsey put straight back in the starting line-up, with such a busy schedule ahead in November. Over the next week alone we have a testing trip to Bulgaria for a match against Ludogorets, before facing rivals Tottenham in the league. Rotation will be key during this time and so having Ramsey back in the side will be beneficial, especially with Cazorla remaining out for the time being.
On rotation and Ramsey’s fitness, Wenger said: ‘I don’t know [if Ramsey is ready to start], I will have to analyse all that now, with [Granit] Xhaka back. We play now in the Champions League and then we play Tottenham. So I have to see who I rest and who I play without diminishing the chance of the team to win the game.’
Ramsey has had his tough times at Arsenal and having missed a large chunk of the season already, Ramsey has some ground to make up in regarding to making his mark in the side. If only the Welshman could replicate his stunning 13/14 season statistics, then Wenger would have an even greater selection conundrum on his hands.