Is Arsenal's Aaron Ramsey good enough for Barcelona's first-team XI?

In light of recent speculation, how does Aaron Ramsey compare to Barcelona's current crop of midfield magicians?

According to the Mirror, La Liga outfit Barcelona are eager to sign 24-year-old Arsenal midfielder Aaron Ramsey.

Reports claim that the Catalans are ready to submit a £50 million bid for the Welshman with the hope that they can make him the club's ninth purchase from Arsene Wenger's side since the turn of the century.

The recently crowned La Liga champions are currently the subject of a transfer ban, which is likely to prove a major obstacle in their pursuit of the midfielder, but they are hoping to get it lifted by the summer.

Irrespective of these sanctions, Luis Enrique has reportedly scouted the Welshman on 10 occasions this campaign, with the intention of bringing him to the Nou Camp in place of the departing Xavi. 

While this transfer seems out of the question, the statistics will provide a pleasant surprise for the Emirates faithful, as in fact, the Welshman is able to match, if not out-do, the achievements of Barcelona's impressive central-midfield quartet in a number of key areas. 

  Goals per GameChances Created per GamePass Success (%)Accurate Passes per GameDribbles per GameInterceptions per GameTackles Won per GameAerial Duels Won per GameAppearances
Aaron Ramsey 0.21 1.61 86 49.64 0.93 1.14 1.29 0.64 28

For one, Ramsey has been significantly more prolific in the final third, weighing in with six goals and six assists in 28 league appearances this term. Based on his season average, no Barca midfielder has scored more regularly, while only the departing Xavi has proven more creative. 

The Welshman's strengths lie in his passing, and this is apparent when comparisons are made with Luis Enrique's crop of talented midfielders. The Catalan outfit are renowned for their collective ability to keep possession through a short, sharp passing-game; a style Ramsey would undoubtedly suit.

  Goals per GameChances Created per GamePass Success (%)Accurate Passes per GameDribbles per GameInterceptions per GameTackles Won per GameAerial Duels Won per GameAppearances
Sergio Busquets 0.03 0.48 92 59.21 0.45 1.52 2.09 1.52 33
Xavi 0.06 1.65 93 51.77 0.45 0.45 0.52 0.26 31
Ivan Rakitic 0.16 1.03 91 48 0.22 0.91 0.78 0.66 32
Andres Iniesta 0 0.83 90 52.37 1.37 0.42 1.13 0.25 24

Playing as a defensive midfielder, or in a more advanced role, Ramsey has displayed his impressive passing ability, completing 86% of his attempts to find a teammate this term, while averaging 50 passes per game. This current rate sees him fall short of Xavi and Co. Nonetheless, this would undoubtedly increase if he were to feature regularly in La Liga. 

Defensively he finds himself outclassed by Sergio Busquets, which perhaps comes as little surprise. Having said this, the Spaniard is the only player to have recorded more interceptions and tackles than the Arsenal man per appearance. In these key areas he is a long way ahead of Xavi, Iniesta and Rakitic. 

The verdict: Arsenal's Aaron Ramsey is good enough for Barcelona. In fact, if the statistics are anything to go by, he could emerge as a key player for the Catalan giants. Nonetheless, with four years remaining on his deal at the Emirates, it is highly unlikely that he will look to leave the Premier League anytime soon.  

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