Whilst the other big clubs in the league splash out millions upon millions on stars, Arsenal prefer to adopt a more sensible strategy. The Gunners are the only top Premier League club currently working within their financial means, with Arsene Wenger perfecting a system that sees youth development become the priority at the Emirates. Although they are no stranger to the odd glamorous transfer (think Andrey Arshavin, Jose Antonio Reyes etc), the north London club rely heavily on their academy and the emergence of quality youth at the Emirates has, and will continue to save the Gunners millions.
Take Aaron Ramsey for example. The 19 year old midfielder is another youngster who is currently making a name for himself under the tuition of the Frenchman and his performances for the side have suggested he has a big part to play in the Gunners future. Predominantly a central midfielder, Ramsey’s strengths lie in his versatility. Arsene Wenger hit the nail on the head when describing the midfielder, claiming the ex-Cardiff man was “a player with a fantastic engine, good build, good technique and good vision”.
Ramsey has shown potential since the moment he arrived at the Emirates yet it has really been this season that the midfielder has begun to stake his claim for a first team place. Ramsey has had to compete with the likes of Alex Song and Cesc Fabregas and although the youngster is yet to reach the level of the pair (who are only a few years his senior), he is already considered by many to be possess more quality than Theo Walcott, Fran Merida and Denilson; Arsenal’s other youngsters.
The Welshman has found himself in an out of the side this season as manager Arsene Wenger aims to give the midfielder more opportunities and further experience. Nearly every time Ramsey has featured this campaign, Arsenal have experienced both a positive result and a positive performance. The youngster impressed on his Premier League debut against Wolves and was also instrumental in the 4-1 drubbing of Portsmouth at the end of last year however, perhaps his best display was in the recent F.A Cup tie with West Ham. Ramsey was a dominant presence in the Arsenal midfield and helped lead a spirited Arsenal fight back, equalising with a well taken 78th minute strike. The 19 year old would go on to receive the man of the match award and earn the respect of fans and pundits alike.
Arsenal’s midfield is currently full of promising young talent and Ramsey faces stiff competition from the rest of the squad. However, what gives the Welshman an advantage over the likes of Merida and Denilson is his versatility. Ramsey can play in the centre of the park, or on either wing, he is both a box to box midfielder and a holding player and the youngster has even been known to fill in at right back on the occasion. Despite being just 19, Ramsey has the attitude and work ethic to succeed and is certainly at the right club when it comes to realising your dream.
Eyebrows were raised when Arsenal splashed out £4.8 million for the Welshman in the summer of 2008, with many believing that the Cardiff man was yet to fully prove himself in the Championship let alone the Premier League. However, the midfielder has already silenced many of these critics and I don’t think many people will argue when I say that £4.8 million will seem like a drop in the ocean to his valuation in five years time.