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Ramsey to fight for Gunners goal

Aaron Ramsey
Aaron Ramsey was a 5m signing for Arsenal from Cardiff City in 2008

Aaron Ramsey has told Arsene Wenger that he is not at Arsenal to "make up the numbers" as the teenage sensation fights for a regular first-team place.

The Wales international was the star in Arsenal's 2-1 fourth round Carling Cup win over Liverpool in midweek.

Ramsey hopes his mature display showed boss Wenger that he is ready to become a Gunners central midfield regular.

"I haven't come here to make up the numbers, I've come to earn the right to play in the first team," said Ramsey.

The 18-year-old midfielder was one of the hottest young British prospects when he became the youngest ever player to break into the Cardiff City first team.

Aaron Ramsey
When I get opportunities to play, I must show that I'm ready and make an impact so the boss keeps me in the team

Arsenal midfielder Aaron Ramsey

Ramsey impressed in Cardiff's run the FA Cup final - eventually losing 1-0 to Portsmouth at Wembley - and Arsenal beat off competition from arch Premier League rivals Manchester United and fellow top-flight giants Everton to sign him for £5m in the summer of 2008.

Ramsey was given a guided tour around Old Trafford and the United's famous Carrington training facilities.

But after Arsenal chief Wenger flew the Welshman to Switzerland to negotiate the move, Ramsey signed a long-term deal at The Emirates Stadium before extending his contract in the summer.

"I feel that Arsenal play the best football in the league," said Ramsey, explaining his tough career move.

"They bring a lot of youngsters through and develop them into world-class players. I also felt wanted here and they wanted to help me improve and be the best player I possibly can be."

Ramsey has made 12 starts since moving to Arsenal - and 23 substitute appearances - but just one start in the Premier League as Wenger has an embarrassment of midfield riches.

The 10-times capped Wales international is a Carling Cup regular and has now scored at Champions League, Premier League and international level following his strike in Wales' 2-0 recent World Cup qualifying win in Liechtenstein.

But Ramsey hopes to join Arsenal's superstar midfield ranks of Cesc Fabregas, Andrey Arshavin and Theo Walcott on a more regular basis in the Premier League.

Interview: Wales and Arsenal midfielder Aaron Ramsey

Ramsey is in Wenger's squad to face North London rivals Tottenham Hotspur in Saturday's derby and his impressive performance against Liverpool in midweek has done his cause no harm.

"I can improve on things," Ramsey told BBC Sport Wales show.

"But I want to play every game every week, like every player does, be successful and win things.

"I can't ask to play more often, I've got to do it myself and work hard in training every day. Then when I get opportunities to play, I must show that I'm ready and make an impact so the boss keeps me in the team.

"I'll just concentrate on my game and when I'm ready, I can put pressure on the boss to play me. I obviously want to play every game but I must be realistic because the squad here is superb."

Ramsey is not 19 until Boxing Day so has plenty of time on his side but hopes to make a bigger impression in his second season at The Emirates.

"I had a decent first season and made over 20 appearances," he said.

"But I must kick on again and hopefully better last season's tally and get more starts."

Arsenal are renowned for their attractive football under Wenger and their ranks are bursting with players who epitomise everything good about the beautiful game.

"Everyone knows the quality of players like Arshavin and Fabregas," Ramsey continued.

"They're known throughout the world and are proven superstars and I will certainly benefit from training, playing with and learning from players like that.

"It will only benefit my development and they ensure I will be ready when I get my chance.

"Fabregas' vision and passing is second to none and training with his is a great learning experience, especially for a young central midfielder like me who likes to play football.

"I'd love to play alongside him more as playing together will only help me improve and help improve our understanding.

"When the passes are flowing, the players are moving and with the vision we have in this team, playing in a side like Arsenal can only be a positive for me."

* Catch Aaron Ramsey's North London derby preview on BBC Radio Wales' The Back Page show on Saturday at 0830 GMT.



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see also
Sport Wales: The TV Programme
15 Mar 11 |  Wales
BBC Radio Wales' The Back Page
13 Jul 07 |  Wales
Arsenal 3-0 Tottenham
31 Oct 09 |  Premier League
Ramsey enjoying big time
30 Oct 09 |  Arsenal
Arsenal 2-1 Liverpool
28 Oct 09 |  League Cup
Liechtenstein 0-2 Wales
14 Oct 09 |  Internationals
Ramsey on his first Wales goal
14 Oct 09 |  Internationals
Wales U21 2-1 Italy U21
04 Sep 09 |  Welsh
Ramsey agrees new deal at Arsenal
01 Jul 09 |  Arsenal
Ramsey targets Arsenal first team
03 Aug 08 |  Arsenal
Ramsey completes Arsenal switch
13 Jun 08 |  Arsenal
Redknapp hails wonderkid Ramsey
14 May 08 |  Cardiff
Ramsey makes history for Cardiff
28 Apr 07 |  Cardiff


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