x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Ramsey should take his time to grow up

When Aaron Ramsey first came on the scene, people told me he was the new Ryan Giggs. When someone says that, you take an interest because Giggsy is a special player.

Aaron Ramsey has a bright future ahead of him, according to Liverpool and Wales legend Ian Rush.
Aaron Ramsey has a bright future ahead of him, according to Liverpool and Wales legend Ian Rush.

When Aaron Ramsey first came on the scene, people told me he was the new Ryan Giggs. When someone says that, you take an interest because Giggsy is a special player. Last year Ramsey was playing for Wales Under-21s at 17; he was that good. His movement, ball control and skill was something else. He played on the left wing and that's where the Giggsy comparisons came at Cardiff City. I think it's unfair to label him after anyone else, but what he will be is a superb player for years to come if he develops like everyone expects. I'm hoping to see him in action at the Emirates Cup tournament this weekend and I am glad Arsene Wenger sees him as a central midfielder too because I think that's where he will be at his best - for club and country.

He likes to get forward and score goals. He reminds me of Steven Gerrard in that respect and I have no doubt he can be as good as Gerrard. Aaron has a lot of natural ability, but today you need to be physically strong to cope at the top level. His body will develop in the next few years and he will get stronger. The same thing happened with Gerrard when he had a growth spurt and the Liverpool manager at the time, Gerard Houllier, looked after him by easing him into the team as his body developed.

Wenger can spot talent at a young age and work with young players. He has proved that time and time again at Arsenal and gets the best out of them, even unknown players. People criticise him for not using Theo Walcott enough, but he waits and guides the player until he thinks they are ready, not when others do. I am sure he will use Walcott a lot more this season because the player has had a taste and will have learned from it.

Look at what Wenger has done with Cesc Fabregas. He gave him a taste at 16 in the League Cup and then kept his development going. Fabregas isn't the biggest either in his physique, but he is now one of the best in the world and still only 21. He's amazing and its great to have that kind of quality in the Premier League. What someone like Ramsey has to do is learn from Fabregas and the way he has grown into the player and character he is.

He should say 'I want to be where he is at 21'. You also never hear stories of what Fabregas gets up to on nights out or that he's in trouble. That is the biggest worry, and challenge, for someone like Aaron. You can't forget he is just a teenager. He is a level-headed kid with good people around him, but that's how it has to stay. London can be a difficult place for people to handle at that age. Look at what happened with Paul Gascoigne when he went to Tottenham from Newcastle.

Charlie Nicholas was another who never showed his best at Arsenal. People make mistakes in their lives, but Aaron should try to learn from what has happened to them and others. Maybe Ramsey would have been better off staying at Cardiff for another year or going to Manchester United or Everton, who also made £5 million (Dh37m) bids. But hopefully he can handle it and do well at Arsenal because he has the perfect stage. They are a hungry young side with a lot of talent. Maybe he won't play as much this season, but the idea of Ramsey and Fabregas in central midfield in the future is a mouth-watering prospect.

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