Wenger: Arsenal star's presence is MASSIVE - not Ozil

Aaron Ramsey

Arsene Wenger has singled out one of his midfielders for praise, but it is not the £42.4m valued trequartista he purchased in summer.

The manner in which he has improved his defensive contributions has elevated Aaron Ramsey into Arsenal's most influential player, claimed Arsene Wenger to Arsenal Player recently.

'I believe his defensive awareness has improved, his defensive qualities have improved and his defensive score is very strong now,' he said.

While the 22-year-old's offensive artillery is oft what attracts the headlines, namely his eight goal and five assist return from Premier League and Champions League competition in the current season to date, his general box-to-box capability is punctuated by his defensive game.

On average, with both tournaments in mind, Ramsey averages 4.5 tackle attempts per game and the Emirates Stadium is swiftly proving to be his speciality playground as he almost goes after six tackles per game at home, a far cry from the times just a matter of years ago when his own supporters vocally objected to his presence in the first-team.

'Aaron [Ramsey] has first a fantastic engine,' continued Wenger. 'After that he has a huge desire to play every single ball. He wins the 50:50s - that was not the case a year ago. If you let him, he takes the ball at the back, passes to himself in midfield and passes to himself up front because he wants the ball so much.

'That is why his presence is so massive in a game.'

image: © wonker

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