• Premier League

On-fire Ramsey just fab, says Arteta

ESPN staff
August 18, 2014
Ramsey cleans up for Arsenal

Arsenal captain Mikel Arteta believes "on-fire" midfielder Aaron Ramsey can follow in the footsteps of the club's former captain Cesc Fabregas.

Ramsey, 23, scored a dramatic stoppage-time goal to beat Crystal Palace 2-1 on Saturday as Arsenal secured a morale-boosting victory on the opening day of the new Premier League campaign.

Ramsey's extra-time goal won the FA Cup at Wembley in May to end the club's nine-year wait for a trophy, while an untimely injury to the dynamic midfielder at the turn of the year impacted on Arsenal's fading title challenge.

"Aaron is on fire," Arteta said. "When you have a player like this coming from midfield to score that many goals gives you something extra.

"We don't really have a 30 or 40-goal scorer at the moment, so to have players who can score goals from the middle of the park is very important.

"He reminds me a little bit of Fabregas when he was here. At his best, Cesc was coming off the front, making the final ball and scoring very important goals.

"I think Aaron's confidence is really high at the moment, physically he can do whatever he wants and technically he is in a very good state, so he is one of the most important players in the team.

"I think he will get better with experience, with knowledge and confidence. People have a fear now with him because they know he can create things and that gives you an extra yard which is very important.

"Whatever he wants to do, he has shown in the past two seasons how much he is able to improve, so I think he can do even more."

Such is the influence of Ramsey and his other attack-minded midfielder colleagues, which now include £30 million signing Alexis Sanchez, Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger passed up on the chance to bring their former captain back from Barcelona this summer, with Fabregas joining London rivals Chelsea instead.

It is some transformation for the former Cardiff youngster, who recovered from a horrific double leg break at Stoke in February 2010, to win over the critics.

"For me, there are two factors. First of all, he showed great character because I remember the days when he used to come here and the people used to be against him. To get through that and feel the love that he feels now is very important," Arteta said.

"The manager as well backed him big time. If you have someone like that then you need to give something back and that's what Aaron is doing."

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