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Is Aaron Ramsey's Form Going Underappreciated This Season?

Aaron Ramsey Arsenal FA Cup Parade 2015

"Arsenal FA Cup Parade 2015" (CC BY 2.0) by joshjdss

It is not unheard of for key players in Premier League sides to go under the radar. Those talented individuals who just keep their heads down, work hard and make their teams tick without too much fanfare. However, it is a little more unusual when such a player is turning out for one of the country's biggest clubs yet remains relatively underappreciated despite some excellent form.

Of course, it is easy to overlook a player such as Aaron Ramsey. He has spent so much of his career on the sidelines overcoming injury setbacks that when he does return, people view him as a bit-part player or someone lacking in match fitness. But this season, things started off a little differently. The Welsh international quickly clocked up 14 starts, one more than in the whole of last season, and was perhaps playing some of the best football of his career before he once again succumbed to injury in the 1-1 draw with Southampton.

The hamstring issue is expected to keep him out for at least three weeks, which means Arsene Wenger may be forced to totally change his formation throughout the Christmas period. With his club currently 125/1 according to the Premier League betting odds, all the focus now will be on securing a place in the top four - a task that seems to get tougher each year, and will be made harder without one of the key elements to his new 3-4-2-1 system.

When assessing Ramsey's form, it should be taken into consideration that the Arsenal midfield is not an easy place to operate. The very nature of the Gunners' set-up means that the midfielders are often over-stretched and over-worked. But the switch to three at the back towards the end of last season has provided a platform for the player to thrive. With three goals and six assists to his name already, the 26-year-old has been the team's most productive player this season.

Controlling the midfield and providing cover, while also offering support going forward is no easy task and it is a role that hasn't come naturally to the player in the past. But a combination of a new-found maturity and some hard-work on the training ground has finally paid dividends and over the last couple of months, his form has arguably reached a career peak. Only in the Welsh national team shirt have we seen Ramsey perform at this kind of level before.

Aaron Ramsey is a player that has always divided opinion among Arsenal fans, but this season they have been united in their appreciation of his contribution. But outside of the club, his displays seem to have gone largely unnoticed. Ask fans of any other club about Aaron Ramsey and they will usually stare back at you and say "he's injured, isn't he?"

Unfortunately, that assumption is true yet again but hopefully, this current setback will be a short-term one. If he can pick up where he left on his return, the Arsenal midfielder could end the campaign as the club's player of the season.

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