When asked prior to the start of the season what his individual aims were for the campaign Aaron Ramsey responded by saying that he was determined to win back his place in central midfield in the Arsenal side.
Ramsey thrived while operating centrally for the Gunners two seasons ago, enjoying the best form of his career to date, but since then he has often had to operate on the right flank, with Santi Cazorla playing in the deep-lying midfield position that the Welshman so craves.
Now, however, Ramsey's chance to re-establish himself in the middle may well be on the horizon, with Cazorla expected to be out for a lengthy period as a consequence of the injury he sustained against Norwich City last weekend.
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Francis Coquelin is also out injured, and Ramsey began to rekindle his partnership with Mathieu Flamini, which worked to some effect in the 2013/14 season, against Sunderland on Saturday.
Manager Arsene Wenger revealed last week that he prefers to play Ramsey on the right wing as it helps to balance the side, with the former Cardiff City player able to drift inside on occasion, enabling right-back Hector Bellerin to burst down the flank.
Back in the picture
Playing Ramsey out wide deprives Arsenal of width and pace in that position and he seems much better suited to playing centrally, where he can help to initiate Arsenal's attacking movements with precise passes and also, occasionally, go for goal himself when presented with the opportunity to shoot.
Indeed, Ramsey was at the centre of Arsenal's 3-1 win against the Black Cats in more ways than one. Thriving from the chance to play in his natural position, Ramsey assisted the decisive goal for Olivier Giroud in the second half before sealing the victory with a goal of his own.
Jack Wilshere is closing in on his latest return to action, but the England international hasn't featured at all this season and, as a consequence, may be bedded in slowly to the team, meaning Ramsey, for a few weeks at least, could be almost unopposed as far as competition for the deep-lying midfield position is concerned.
Ramsey himself is only just back from an injury that kept him out for over a month, and the 24-year-old has often struggled to remain available for a long period before spending further time on the treatment table.
Now, however, is his moment to shine in his favourite position. If Ramsey seizes it, then the spot may be his to keep.
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