Aaron Ramsey’s early-season form for Arsenal was nothing short of sensational, the midfielder scoring 13 goals and providing seven assists before a thigh injury saw him ultimately ruled out for two-and-a-half months.
According to a report in the Independent, Ramsey is targeting a return for the North London derby on March 16, but are Gunners fans expecting too much from their Welsh wizard?
Ramsey may have started the season with a bang, but he had not found the net in the six matches prior to his injury.
So what will they see on his return, a goal-scoring midfielder who inspires a late-season run, or the player who failed to score against the likes of Hull City, Everton and West Ham United prior to his setback?
That question will only be answered when Ramsey returns – be that against Tottenham or later in the campaign – but Gunners fans may want to temper their expectations as it may take him time to regain the form he displayed last year.
That said, Daniel Sturridge has showed that a spell on the side-lines is not necessarily a barrier to an immediate impact on your return.
One player who is likely to be extremely grateful to see Ramsey playing again is Mesut Ozil, who benefited considerably from the former Cardiff player’s presence on the pitch.
It is no secret that the German has struggled in Ramsey’s absence, and even if the latter does not instantly hit the ground running, his style of play is sure to give Ozil a boost as he aims for his own return to form.
Even if Ramsey is not the free-scoring surprise he was earlier this season, he is still likely to have an impact as Arsenal strive for that elusive trophy. Then again, he could net a hat-trick against Spurs, proving just how little the doubters know.
image: © Ronnie Macdonald