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Giggs hails future captain Ramsey


Aaron Ramsey
Aaron Ramsey is the newly-crowned Young Welsh Footballer of the Year

Ryan Giggs has hailed Wales teenage sensation Aaron Ramsey as a future Wales captain.

The Arsenal midfielder has replaced Giggs as Welsh football's superstar and the 18-year-old is already the creative heartbeat of John Toshack's team.

Ramsey won his 11th Wales cap against Scotland and Giggs said: "He is an exciting talent and I hope Wales can build their side around him.

"He is that sort of central midfield player and is a future Wales captain."

Ramsey is the fulcrum of the young Wales engine room that also includes highly-rated youngsters Joe Allen, Joe Ledley, David Edwards, Andy King and Jack Collison - but the West Ham United star missed Scotland's visit to Cardiff on Saturday due to injury.

Giggs was often targeted by Wales' opposition during his 64 caps as rival managers believed if they stopped the Manchester United winger playing, then Wales could be beaten.

Ramsey, the newly-crowned young Welsh Player of the Year, is now under the same expectation to perform for his county as Giggs did when he made his international breakthrough in the early 1990s.

Giggs was billed as the next big thing when he made his Wales bow in West Germany in 1991 and now hugely-talented Ramsey is now burdened with that pressure.

Ryan Giggs
Aaron is under a great manager in Arsene Wenger and Arsenal play football the right way

Former Wales captain Ryan Giggs

Giggs retired from international football in 2007 so never played alongside Ramsey who made his debut against Denmark in November 2008.

Ramsey has established himself as a Wales regular and the United veteran believes the Arsenal rookie has the mentality and attitude to deal with the expectation.

"I have met Aaron on a few occasions when United have played Arsenal and he seems a nice lad," Giggs told BBC Radio Wales' Back Page show.

"He has his feet on ground and since he has gone to Arsenal, Aaron has kept on developing and that is great to see.

"I was told about him along time ago and has not disappointed so far. He has put in some great performances for Wales and Arsenal.

"And when he got into the Welsh team, he hasn't thought that he has made it but he has got better and better in every performance and is obviously developing his game.

"Aaron is a special and talented player but he is still young and will be developing his game for the next 10 to 15 years.

"And Aaron is under a great manager in Arsene Wenger and Arsenal play football the right way."

Gunners boss Wenger is renowned for unearthing and developing raw footballing diamonds and transforming them into all-round gems.

Ramsey has established himself in Arsenal's first-team squad since his high-profile £5m move from Cardiff City and now the young playmaker is being handed full first-team opportunities in his second season at The Emirates Stadium.

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Ramsey is certainly expected to start for Wales at the Cardiff City Stadium on Saturday where a youthful Welsh side will face a tricky Scottish side.

The Arsenal youngster - who is renowned for scoring stunning goals at under-21 level - has followed players such as Gareth Bale, Wayne Hennessey and Collison off Wales' production line recently.

So Wales' transition continues and while Giggs concedes it is tough for the conveyer belt of youngsters to make it onto the biggest stage, he believes it helps to have a little help from friends.

"With young players, teams do struggle with consistency," acknowledged Giggs.

"But it is exciting times for Wales as the under-21s are doing well and it is not just one or two players coming through, there are a lot of players.

"It is hard to come through as a youngster but it is made a lot easier if you are with your mates and there is a load of them coming through at the moment.

"Once they establish a winning mentality, they will I think we'll be fine."

* Ryan Giggs spoke to The Back Page show which is on BBC Radio Wales every Saturday at 0830 GMT.



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see also
BBC Radio Wales' The Back Page
13 Jul 07 |  Wales
Wales 3-0 Scotland
14 Nov 09 |  Internationals
Scots remember Stein in Cardiff
13 Nov 09 |  Internationals
Burley targets Scots winning run
14 Nov 09 |  Internationals
Scots out to avoid Cardiff repeat
12 Nov 09 |  Internationals
Williams takes top Welsh awards
11 Nov 09 |  Welsh
Ramsey to fight for Gunners goal
30 Oct 09 |  Arsenal
Liechtenstein 0-2 Wales
14 Oct 09 |  Internationals
Wales failure hurts star Ramsey
08 Oct 09 |  Internationals
Ramsey agrees new deal at Arsenal
01 Jul 09 |  Arsenal
Ramsey completes Arsenal switch
13 Jun 08 |  Arsenal
Ramsey pens professional contract
31 Dec 07 |  Cardiff


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