Belfast Telegraph

Wenger hails maturing Ramsey

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger feels midfielder Aaron Ramsey is growing with every game he plays as the Wales captain prepares to tackle Swansea on Sunday.

The 21-year-old has grabbed his opportunity this season, stepping into a regular first-team place alongside Mikel Arteta and Alex Song following the summer sale of Cesc Fabregas and injury to Jack Wilshere.

Wenger said: "I brought him in because of his quality. People forget about Ramsey is that this is his first full season really. For me, he is growing month to month and people are a bit impatient with him. I am very happy with what he is delivering - and if Wilshere comes back (soon) they can play together."

Ramsey has been outspoken in his views over the future of Wales following the death of manager Gary Speed.

Wenger is impressed with how Ramsey has taken such an important role in his stride.

"Aaron has personality," said the Arsenal manager.

"He is a bit young (to be a captain), because it is a massive responsibility for a player that age with the little experience he has. However, he can take pressure so he will grow very quickly in this role and he will be a great captain for Wales."

Arsenal head to Liberty Stadium looking to get their drive toward the top four back on course following a largely disappointing festive season, which saw them lose at Fulham before securing an FA Cup third-round victory over Leeds last Monday night.

Gunners legend Thierry Henry came off the bench to score the winner and the on-loan New York Red Bulls forward could team up with Arsenal captain Robin van Persie on Sunday when the Dutchman returns to the squad after some extra time off.

Wenger said: "I gave Robin a breather because he is under more pressure than anybody else because of his injury history and because he played more games than anybody else in 2011. "He was always happy when Thierry joined us, but what we expect of him now is to continue his goalscoring record he delivered in 2011 and hopefully ready for another fight."


From Belfast Telegraph