There is a familiar sight of Wales international, Aaron Ramsey playing in red for both club and country. Yet, he could have been playing in a different shade of red, had Arsene Wenger not been decisive in signing him back in 2008. The 26 year old midfielder has become a vital member of the Arsenal first team in recent years, though he recalls he could have been playing for Manchester United. Ramsey was a teenage prodigy playing for Cardiff in his native Wales, and was courted by two of the biggest teams in England about eight years ago. Manchester United and Arsenal were in a two-way fight for the youngster, but in the end, Arsene Wenger’s insistence helped sway the youngster’s decision.
Arsenal were building a reputation of attracting the best young talents in world football at the time, and then turn them into superstars, something Ramsey could identify with. Ahead of today’s clash with United at Old Trafford, Ramsey spoke with Sky Sports about the rivalry and how he came close to signing for the Red Devils.
He said, “I went up there to see the facilities and I went to see Arsene Wenger,” “He did a lot to try and get me to this club. As a 17-year-old, flying out on a private jet to his hotel (in Switzerland for Euro 2008) was surreal but I think I made the right decision.“I just felt a bit more wanted by Arsenal and by the boss.” he added.
Ramsey will feel forever indebted to Arsene Wenger. In February 2010, following a sickening challenge by Ryan Shawcross of Stoke City, he suffered a double leg fracture that threatened to destroy his career. He was out for nine months, but struggled to reach the heights of his pre-injury form. Due to careful nurturing by the Frenchman, Ramsey regained his form and was instrumental in Arsenal winning the FA Cup back in 2014.