Aaron Ramsey’s hopes of a move back into the centre of midfield have been scuppered by Arsene Wenger who says he doesn’t view the Welsh international as a deep-lying midfielder, and that he doesn’t want to blunt his attacking effectiveness by asking him to do that kind of job anyway.
Ramsey has spoken previously about playing in his preferred position, but the Arsenal manager doesn’t view a potential partnership with Santi Cazorla as secure enough. In the absence of Coquelin it seems that Mathieu Flamini, Mikel Arteta and even Calum Chambers will be asked to fill the gap.
“Ramsey is more an offensive player, he is not a tactical, defensive player, he said. “I will use him there when the game demands but is he naturally, with Cazorla, a balanced pair? Defensively, certainly, it’s a very adventurous one!
“I am a bit cautious on that front and I do not want to unbalance the team. I used him on the right because he gives us a balance, because we have Özil, who is an offensive player, we have Sánchez, we have Giroud or Walcott, and we have Cazorla, so to balance a bit defensively I use Ramsey on the right.
“That’s where I will certainly continue to use him, unless the game demands to attack.”
And it’s more about ensuring we get the most from Ramsey, who scored 16 goals the season before last, than not being confident he could do the job.
“He is not afraid to tackle but he likes to go in the box,” said Wenger. “He has a good timing of runs and he wants the ball and he wants to go forward. If you take that out of him, if you say: ‘Look, you have to sit now, sit there and wait,’ you kill his strengths.”