Arsene Wenger says Aaron Ramsey is a doubt for the League Cup final, as he struggles to recover from a groin issue. Here’s why losing him would be very bad news.
Wenger told a press conference last Wednesday: “It is a little bit sensitive case because we expected him to be a bit further in his development of the groin problem and he doesn’t move forward as quickly as we expected it.
“Today we would say that certainly he will not be available even for the next game against Ostersunds. Maybe for the cup final, we don’t know yet, it depends how he will progress from now.”
If he is out, why would Ramsey missing the final be such a bad thing?
1He scored a hat-trick in his last game
Let’s start off with the most obvious point. Ramsey is in great form, and scored his first Arsenal hat-trick against Everton. The Gunners then went to Wembley and lost without him against Spurs. They couldn’t even score a goal, a pretty stark contrast to the match at the Emirates.
You want your in form players for the big games, and Ramsey is one of those.
2Arsenal’s record this season is better with him
Ramsey has only played in the Premier League so far this season, bar a six-minute substitution in the League Cup semi-final. Looking at Arsenal’s league record with and without him, it’s clear the Welshman has a positive impact.
With Ramsey in the team, Arsenal have 32 points from 18 games (1.78 per game). Without him, that drops to 13 points in nine games (1.44 per game). Better have him in for the biggest game of the season so far, then.
3He’s back to his best
The midfielder tends to have hot spells and cold spells with Arsenal, but he’s definitely playing well this season. Right now, he’s actually contributing to goals more often than he did in the famous 2013/14 season.
Ramsey’s 16 goals and 10 assists in 2,724 minutes that year gave him one goal contribution every 104.8 minutes. This season’s six goals and eight assists in 1,385 minutes give him one every 98.9 minutes. For a central midfielder, that’s a fantastic record, and really helps the forwards out.
4He always performs in Wembley finals
Ramsey played in all of Arsenal’s recent cup final wins, and scored in two of them. He also started all the successful semi-finals as well. The last time the 27-year-old didn’t play in a final at Wembley, the team lost 2-1 to Birmingham City.
Manchester City are ridiculous this season, with just three defeats in all competitions. If Arsenal want to make that four, they need their lucky charm.
Good luck to Ramsey for a speedy recovery!