Seven years ago, Aaron Ramsey had a choice.
At just 17 years of age he had already made 22 first team appearances for Cardiff City, including an appearance in the 2008 FA Cup Final. The Welshman was the second youngest player ever to appear in an FA Cup Final, and Cardiff accepted bids from both Arsenal and Manchester United.
Arsène Wenger wooed Ramsey and the rest is history. Rather excitingly it is a history which continues to be written right in front of us, and Ramsey sounds like he has even more admiration for Wenger now than he did when the Frenchman convinced him to reject his boyhood club.
“He’s one of the best managers in the world,” the Arsenal midfielder told FourFourTwo with the season just around the corner. “What he has done for this club since he first took over is quite remarkable.
“He turned some good players into world-class players. He likes to work with the younger players and have that lasting influence on their careers.”
Ramsey is the latest player to breach from ‘good’ into ‘world-class’, even though he may be too humble to admit that himself. In a time where Arsenal can splash £32M and £42.5M on stars like Alexis Sánchez and Mesut Özil, Ramsey is still integral. Bought for £5M as a teenager who had barely begun his career, Wenger has created a world-class midfielder.
Now 24, the trajectory for Ramsey has not yet reached its peak. Wenger can still help him develop further.
“It’s a privilege to work with him every day and get an idea of his way of thinking.
“All the players have the highest respect for him, and he deserves that.”