Aaron Ramsey in for one of his career's biggest tests

This Sunday’s clash against Manchester United could be the biggest game of Aaron Ramsey’s short Arsenal career.

It could be his biggest game because it will be one of his biggest ever tests if Mikel Arteta doesn’t recover in time following the knock he sustained thanks to Steve Sidwell in the win at Fulham.

There has been a lot of criticism aimed at Ramsey this season, for the way he’s failed to keep up with the likes of Arteta, Santi Cazorla and Jack Wilshere who all seemed to have progressed ahead of him in the current side.

If Arteta is not fit enough to start the match then it will almost certainly mean a starting place for Ramsey, who is under massive pressure now that links over a possible move to Cardiff this summer are appearing.

If he’s selected against what is likely to be a slightly weakened Manchester United side, and he doesn’t play well then it could convince Arsene Wenger to move him on at the end of the season.

However, he is on a massive contract with Arsenal which suggests he will stay put but it’s a fine line between becoming a truly special Arsenal first team member or a mere squad player which makes this a big game for him.

At 22-years-old there is still a lot of potential and time to develop there, but if Ramsey cannot take this opportunity, he could find himself resigned to a role as an Arsenal squad player as opposed to having the same sort of status which Jack Wilshere currently possesses at the club.

His inconsistency this season has already pointed to that sort of direction with his current Arsenal career; 17 starts and 15 sub appearances, which proves he is down the pecking order at the moment in terms of midfield talent.

Wenger could lose patience in someone he’s already spent a lot of time on and the pressure is just going to grow as Wilshere and Cazorla pull further and further away from him.

He’s also been under a lot of pressure from sections of Arsenal supporters this season, who have got on his back when he’s played poorly or made mistakes which have gone on to cost Arsenal vital points.

Another below average display against United is just going to add to the frustration at what is a very important time for the club, with the importance of finishing in the top four having never been greater.

He has had calf problems this season, which have affected his form but he got through that patch of injury at the start of February and that cannot be used as an excuse to mask his inconsistency.

If Arteta doesn’t play and Ramsey doesn’t step up, then he will have missed one of his best ever chances to prove that he can dominate this current Arsenal midfield.

Can he be the key for Arsenal this weekend?

image: © wonker

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