With Santi Cazorla and Francis Coquelin both out until around March, Aaron Ramsey is finally set for a run in the middle of the pitch.
The Welshman has made no secret of his desire to play centre-midfield, and grabbed his chance on Saturday with a goal and an assist against Sunderland.
Since the 3-1 victory, it has been confirmed that Santi Cazorla has undergone surgery on his knee and faces three to four months out. Francis Coquelin will still be sidelined for at least two or three months after the injury he suffered at West Brom, and Ramsey is glad to have the opportunity to play in his favoured role once again.
“Injuries like these happen in football,” said the 24-year-old midfielder. “I wish Santi a speedy recovery, and Francis as well, we have been hit hard by injuries this season but it gives players the opportunities to take.
“I have made no secret that I prefer to play in the middle and hopefully now I can stay there.”
After fluffing two good opportunities, Ramsey finally scored in injury time to seal the win for Arsenal.
His general performance was very good, even if he isn’t near his best having only just returned from an injury himself. Playing in his favoured position, Ramsey linked up with Mesut Özil constantly and posed a huge threat.
“My performance today was good and hopefully I can keep building on that now to play where I prefer to play.”
Arsenal have a terrific record when Ramsey and Özil play centrally together, and it’s something the manager can now build on. Obviously injuries to Cazorla and Coquelin are big blows, but the team can now adapt and play to other strengths to come out of this difficult period looking formidable.
Aaron Ramsey could be at the heart of that, and he knows it.