Arsenal captain Mikel Arteta believes there is something of former club captain Cesc Fabregas about current midfield talisman Aaron Ramsey, who once again proved the hero in the club’s opening day Premier League victory.
Ramsey ensured Arsenal’s pre-season optimism was not damaged when he scored a late winner against Crystal Palace after the home side had fallen behind. That’s now five goals in his last six games for Arsenal, including the winner in FA Cup final and a strike in the Community Shield.
Since the start of last season Ramsey has a total of 18 goals in 37 appearances for his club, and the Wales international has established himself as the go-to player when Arsenal are most in need of inspiration.
It is this trait of Ramsey’s that Arteta has compared to Fabregas, who himself had a reputation for scoring goals when it really counted during his spell at the Emirates Stadium.
The new Fabregas?
"Aaron's on fire," he said, as reported by Goal.com. "A player like this coming from midfield to score that many goals gives you something extra.
"He reminds me a bit of Fabregas when he was here. At his best, Fabregas was coming off the front, making the final ball and scoring very important goals.
"I think he will get better with experience and confidence. People fear him now because they know he can create things and that gives you an extra yard, which is very important.
"He showed great character as people used to be against him. The manager backed him big time.
“We don't have someone to score 30 or 40 goals so players who can score from the middle are very important."
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Given Ramsey’s achievements last season, even if his campaign was significantly interrupted by injury, there will be a significantly greater level of expectation placed upon him then there was a 12 months ago.
This time last year the assertion that Ramsey is a ‘£40 million player’ would have been a bold one indeed, but it is a justifiable one now. Alan Shearer made this claim on Match of the Day at the weekend, and there would be few that disagree with the valuation.
But can Ramsey stay fit? This will be the key. Three months were missed during the previous season, and his absence played a significant part in Arsenal’s title challenge falling apart when the going got particularly tough.
This season Arsenal will hope Mesut Ozil can step up where he was unable to before, while Alexis Sanchez has the ability to really change games. But Ramsey will remain as the player most likely and most expected to contribute when the pressure is on.