Aaron Ramsey attracted plenty of interest from England’s top clubs including Manchester United prior to joining Arsenal five years ago, and the Welshman admits meeting with Arsene Wenger was the deciding factor.
The former Cardiff midfielder has since become an important, versatile player for Wenger’s side, playing out of position on the wing at times, but of late has started to demonstrate the form that interested the Gunners in 2008.
The French manager hired a private jet and flew Ramsey out to Euro 2008, where he was convinced of Wenger’s vision for his future in North London.
Ramsey, talking at a children’s coaching course said:
The main factor in joining Arsenal was meeting with Arsene Wenger and to hear what his plans where for me. He has brought through so many youngsters and given them opportunities and turned them into great players.
They flew me over there to have a meeting with him. I was overwhelmed. I was 17 and one of the best managers in the world wants to meet me face to face.
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It was definitely a hard choice to make at my age, but I’ve no regrets, I think I made the right choice. I felt more wanted at Arsenal, I felt the plan was better for me and they gave youngsters more opportunities. Manchester United also had a lot of midfielders at the time as well.
The Wales international was one of the many British stars to sign long term contracts with the Gunners this season and Ramsey feels the young, talented group only bodes well for Arsenal’s future.
It’s great that all the British players chose to commit to the club (Arsenal) and it’s important to have that.
It’s good to have players in the same position as you, they can relate to you, it’s going to be a vital thing in the club’s history in the near future, I think.
All the players are good and you can get on with them but it’s nice to have a relationship with a player who has come through a similar situation to you and that they’re British as well.
Ramsey has looked a different player since the turn of the year, his confidence has developed immensely and he has formed a tidy partnership with Arteta playing more defensive.
The role suits him well as he is able to slow down play and knock it round, while also contributing offensively. The Welshman is starting to repay the immense faith Wenger has had in him, especially from his very long and difficult comeback after his horrific injury. But Ramsey is now really starting to show how he can be a top class midfielder.