Aaron Ramsey has taken time to reflect on his time at Arsenal days amidst the break from football, and he still reiterates his love for the club he left just under a year ago.
The Welsh midfielder left North London on a free transfer to take up a new challenge with Juventus in Serie A, and is currently closing in on his first ever league title.
He had a rocky start to the current campaign, starting a number of matches on the bench, but has recently forced his way into the fold, only for the current pandemic to suspend football indefinitely.
He’s taken some time out to relive some of his best moments at Arsenal, admitting that he was taken aback by the way he was brought from Cardiff into training alongside stars like Cesc Fabregas, Kolo Toure and William Gallas.
‘It happened so quickly at Cardiff. I played the final game of the season before and then had a pre-season, went off with first-team, we had a mad cup run where we got to the final and that was it then. It was done within the year,’ Ramsey intimated.
‘All my life I’ve been trying to achieve this thing of playing for Cardiff and then the next thing I know I’m walking into a dressing room with the likes of Fabregas, Gallas and Toure.
‘I’m 17 years old, I’m just like, “What’s going on here?!”. I just felt out of place but they were really cool guys, made you feel really welcome but still you had to pinch yourself.
‘Wenger was a massive pull. He would give youngsters opportunities, he talked me through how he saw my career path going, how he wanted to improve me and what I needed to improve on.
‘He brought me straight into the first-team to train every day with these world-class players and he believed in me.
‘I just felt he really wanted and felt like he made the most effort to try and secure me.’
The 28 year-old was then asked about what it felt like to say goodbye to the Arsenal fans after 11 years with the club.
‘I wasn’t prepared for that. I was just thinking I’m going to go out there, say my bit and I couldn’t control anything,’ he revealed.
‘It was just pouring out. I spent 11 years there, I grew up there, I left Cardiff at 17, I’ve been married, had kids and been through so much on and off the pitch. That club meant so much to me and always will.’
You could argue that Ramsey has been the greatest Arsenal player of the Emirates era, and his departure was a sore one for any fan.
You have to wonder whether Arsene Wenger’s departure played a big part in Ramsey’s decision to quit the club at such a crucial part in his career, but time goes on.
Has there been a bigger player for Arsenal in the post-Highbury era?