Former EPL star Craig Bellamy thinks his compatriot Aaron Ramsey must start in the central attacking position for Arsenal ahead of Mesut Ozil.
Bellamy, when making his Sky Sports Monday Night Football debut replacing Gary Neville, created much controversy saying that Ramsey is “one of the top central players in world football when fit”, and that right now he should start ahead of Mesut Ozil, despite the German’s blistering run of form netting four times and assisting a further 12 in 20 matches this term.
However, Ramsey has returned from injury, replacing another injured pair – Francis Coquelin and Santi Cazorla in Arsenal’s midfield partnering Mathieu Flamini, but Bellamy believes Ramsey’s current position restricts the 24-year-old’s natural game.
Ozil’s goals came in crucial encounters against Manchester United and Bayern Munich. He also went on to play a leading role in Arsenal’s win against Sunderland.
The 3-1 win against the Black Cats was welcomed at a crucial time for Arsene Wenger’s men as other teams around them unexpectedly dropped points, Stoke City defeated a poor Manchester City and Manchester United’s frustrating run of form in front of goal continued, that sent them to second spot in the league standing, just two points behind leaders Leicester City.
“Aaron wants to get forward but for me has to play in a [midfield] three,” Bellamy suggested at Monday Night Football. “He has to be in the centre. If you ask him to sit [deep] you restrict a lot of his game. Ozil has played left at certain times,” Bellamy tried to justify his comment. “It’s not just me being biased. I have known Aaron since he was five years of age. I would play him central before I would play Ozil.
“It might be a difficult statement at this moment because of Ozil’s (form), but I feel personally watching Ramsey’s game and watching him develop over the last couple of years that he is one of the top central players in world football when he’s fit and he proved that last summer when Barcelona wanted him. This summer if Arsenal wanted to sell then top clubs would want him, because he’s that good.
“He wants to score, always looks to break the lines and he’s a good finisher as well. I felt before his injury (in 2013-14) he was the best player in the Premier League, last year he was stop and start with injuries but if he can just get rid of that he will be one of the best in the Premier League.”
It will be interesting to see how Arsenal supporters react to Craig Bellamy’s comments. Aaron Ramsey at times has indeed proved that he is all set to become a world class talent for Wenger’s side, but injuries have restricted him to do so. However, a change in position for Ozil right now might become suicidal for Arsenal.