Ramsey scored twice for Arsenal on Thursday night, a performance that prompted Wenger ‘s move.
Arsene Wenger insists that he is still confident of securing Aaron Ramsey’s future even as the Wales midfielder prepares to enter the final year of his Arsenal contract.
Ramsey scored twice for Arsenal against CSKA Moscow on Thursday night, a performance that prompted Wenger to say that he is now playing the best football of his career.
Wenger believes that the Welshman has now moved beyond the injuries that have held him back in the past, after “solving the problem” and now managing Ramsey’s fitness better.
“He has always been very fit,” Wenger said of Ramsey. “It’s just to get to the core of the problem. Sometimes when you have a recurrence of an injury, the human body is a bit like an engine, a Formula 1 car. You have to find out really where it matters and what you have to change. Sometimes it is one single movement that you have to change, and it takes time.”
The fact that Ramsey has overcome these problems to force his way back into the Arsenal first team is testament to his confidence and self-belief. “He has always had that, always had personality,” he said. “I think the biggest part in the game at that age, when you play at 18, 19 years of age it is not so much the talent, it is the personality. The belief you have in your own qualities, and he always had that.”
The prospect of a fully-fit Ramsey is very attractive which is why Arsenal are so keen to tie Ramsey to a new deal this summer. His contract expires at the end of next season and there is a fear at the club that he may run it down to make a lucrative free transfer elsewhere. While Ramsey has not been the recent priority, with Jack Wilshere’s contract months from expiring, Wenger insisted late on Thursday night that he is still determined to keep hold of Ramsey.
“We are communicating,” Wenger said. “I’m confident. He’s not at the end of his contract, he has one and a half years to go. We want him to stay because he is one of the guys who has been here for a long time and will be an important player in the future for the club.”
Chelsea’s under-pressure manager Antonio Conte has provided a furious and impassioned response to suggestions from his own friend, Gianluca Vialli, that he ‘cannot wait to leave’ the club.
Vialli, a Chelsea legend who played alongside Conte for Juventus, but who now works as a pundit for Sky Italia, added to the debate around Conte’s future by claiming his compatriot could no longer cop with the club’s policy of buying and selling players without consulting him.
However Conte replied ahead of Sunday’s Premier League game against West Ham with a cutting response in which he insisted he remains determined to keep his job.
“With Gianluca, we played together for many years at Juventus, he was my captain, we won the Champions League together and I consider him a friend. But we haven’t spoken in a year. We went once to dinner last season and then I stopped,” he said.
“So sometimes it’s very difficult to understand why. I can be disappointed on one side, but I respect him because he is a journalist, and he is doing his job. He is trying to give his opinion. But this is his opinion. It is not my opinion. The people who stay very close to me they know very well my intentions – to stay, to stay here, to continue my job here. This is the truth. You will see.”
Conte has had to endure this kind of speculation all season, a campaign in which his team has failed miserably to defend their title and instead fallen to fifth in the table, eight points adrift of fourth place after losing at home to Tottenham last weekend.
So, although he did his best to hold back in his criticism of Vialli it was nevertheless clear he is increasingly frustrated by the situation – and by his team’s poor form.