The new Ryan Giggs - but in the red of Arsenal, not United
PUBLISHED: 18:08 13 August 2008 | UPDATED: 15:18 07 September 2010
Arsenal already have one over champions Manchester United before the new season kicks off. The Red Devils were hot favourites to seal the signature of British football s hottest new talent, Aaron Ramsey, from Cardiff City. Indeed, its website even announ
Arsenal already have one over champions Manchester United before the new season kicks off.
The Red Devils were hot favourites to seal the signature of British football's hottest new talent, Aaron Ramsey, from Cardiff City.
Indeed, its website even announced a fee had been struck between the two clubs and that Ramsey was on his way to Old Trafford. But an 11th-hour invitation extended to Ramsey and his parents to meet Arsene Wenger in Switzerland swung the pendulum back in Arsenal's favour.
The teenage winger was suitably impressed with Wenger's words of wisdom and his signature was duly secured.
It could be the best piece of business Wenger has done for quite a while.The £5 million fee may seem steep for a player with just 16 appearances for Cardiff, but back in the principality the Caerphilly-born attacker is exciting fans in a similar fashion to Ryan Giggs back in the early 90s.
In pre-season he has already shown Arsenal fans enough to leave them purring for more. "It is quite obvious he has got that little bit of class which sides are looking for," said Wales assistant boss Dean Saunders. "I think perhaps the biggest compliment which has been paid to him was the fact Cardiff manager Dave Jones had the confidence to play him at right-back a few times. You need to have confidence in a young player to put him back there because if they are over-awed and make a mistake then you could more than likely be giving away a goal.
"But, for me, Ramsey has just got great balance about him too. With that you can do so much with the ball and it makes it easier to win back."
Ironically, Ramsey arrived at Arsenal on the same day Derek Tapscott - another Welshman who served Cardiff and Arsenal with disctinction half a century ago - sadly died.
Indeed, Ramsey is no stranger to The Emirates, having scored there for Cardiff in an FA Youth Cup tie last year, impressing the watching Wenger.
"Aaron is a young player who has shown huge potential with his displays for both Cardiff and Wales at Under-17 and Under-21 levels," said Wenger
"He is still only 17, but has already shown that he is a very intelligent and mature player with great quality. Although he mainly plays in midfield, Aaron is a versatile player and can also play across the defence.