Arsenal may have turned down the chance to sign Cesc Fabregas this summer but Mikel Arteta believes Aaron Ramsey is increasingly influencing games like the club’s former captain.
Voted the Gunners’ player of the season after his FA Cup final heroics the Welshman has picked up where he left off last term netting important goals in the Community Shield against Manchester City and Saturday’s winner against Crystal Palace.
Impressed by Ramsey’s propensity to take the game by the scruff of the neck, Arteta underlined the importance of his teammate’s ability to weigh in with goals and assists.
“Aaron is on fire. When you have a player like this coming from midfield to score that many goals gives you something extra,” he told press at the weekend.
“We don’t really have a 30- or 40-goal scorer at the moment, so to have players who can score goals from the middle of the park is very important.
“He reminds me a little bit of Fabregas when he was here. At his best, Cesc was coming off the front, making the final ball and scoring very important goals.
“I think Aaron’s confidence is really high at the moment, physically he can do whatever he wants and technically he is in a very good state, so he is one of the most important players in the team.
“I think he will get better with experience, with knowledge and confidence. People have a fear now with him because they know he can create things and that gives you an extra yard which is very important.
“Whatever he wants to do, he has shown in the past two seasons how much he is able to improve, so I think he can do even more.”
For his part Ramsey says he’s looking for collective improvement from the squad this year putting particular emphasis on an upturn in results against the top clubs away from home.
“You saw last season that we picked up a number of points against the teams outside the top four.
“If we did pick up a few points away from home against the top four teams last season then I think we may have been champions, but that wasn’t to be. That’s our biggest thing to improve on – to pick up points away from home.”
Ahead of tomorrow’s vital Champions League qualifier in Istanbul against Beskitas and Saturday evening’s trip to Goodison Park, we can only hope the whole squad heeds his call to arms.