Big things were expected when Aaron Ramsey signed for Arsenal from Cardiff as a 17-year-old in 2008.
The Gunners beat off competition from Manchester United for the highly coveted Welshman, and early signs indicated he could develop into one of the best players in the Premier League.
But, although he has had a fairly successful career, it’s fair to say Ramsey has had his doubters along the way.
None have been more active in their criticism than TV personality and avid Arsenal fan Piers Morgan, who has consistently called for the Welshman to be sold by the club.
And, it looks like may finally get his way very soon, with reports suggesting that Arsenal will sell the 27-year-old in the summer to prevent losing him on a free next year when his contract at the club comes to an end.
FRANK LAMPARD’S OPINION ABOUT RAMSEY
But whereas Ramsey may have his doubters, Chelsea legend Frank Lampard is certainly not one of them.
In fact, it appears Lampard is one of Ramsey’s biggest fans, with the 39-year-old calling on Arsenal to extend his contract and build their team around the Welshman.
Writing in his column for the Standard, Lampard explained: “I’m an admirer of Aaron Ramsey and Arsenal must try to secure his long-term future at the club.
“Ramsey has just over a year left on his contract and once again Arsenal have got themselves in a position where one of their key player’s deals is running out.
“He is class when at his best and I do feel there is another level for him to strive for. He showed great quality at the 2016 European Championships.
“Arsenal need to keep their good British players and build the team around them, with more strength and power as a priority.”
It’s fair to say Lampard is a big fan of Ramsey. But, is building a team around Ramsey the biggest priority for Arsenal?
There is no doubting that Ramsey has the talent to perform at an elite level for Arsenal, but injury problems, coupled with a lack of consistency, has prevented him from excelling at the club.
Although Lampard compared Ramsey to himself, the stats prove that he is nowhere near the calibre of the former Chelsea man.
In an Arsenal shirt Ramsey has only contributed 17 goals across the past few seasons, and has only reached 10 goals in a season twice. Lampard achieved that mark 12 times whilst playing in England’s top tier.
At 27-years-old he is reaching his peak, but it can be argued that he is not even the most talented central midfielder at Arsenal, with many considering Jack Wilshere to be the main man in the centre of the park.
There is no doubting that Ramsey is a very good squad player, but Lampard instructing Arsenal to build a team around the Welshman is probably taking things a little too far.