Arsène Wenger is reluctant to use Aaron Ramsey in a deeper role because it would "kill his strengths".

The Wales international has recovered from injury and comes back into an Arsenal squad shorn of defensive midfielders Francis Coquelin and Mikel Arteta.

Ramsey has filled the 'holding' role in the past but Wenger is more likely to turn to Mathieu Flamini and Calum Chambers to maintain the balance in his side.

"Ramsey is more an offensive player," said Wenger. "I will use him sometimes there [centrally] when the game demands, but is he naturally with Cazorla a balanced pair? Defensively, certainly, it's a very adventurous one!

"I used Ramsey on the right because he gives us a balance, because we have Ozil who is an offensive player, we have Sanchez, we have Giroud or Walcott and Cazorla so to balance a bit defensively, I use Ramsey on the right. That's where I will certainly continue to use him.

"He is not afraid to tackle but he likes to go in the box and he has a good timing of runs and he wants the ball and he wants to go forward. If you take that out of him, and you say 'look, you have to sit now, and sit there and wait,' you kill his strengths.

"He [Ramsey] can do [the deeper role]," added Wenger. "It is not that he cannot do it, but he can do it [more effectively] with Coquelin. Cazorla can [play alongside] Coquelin.

"Cazorla and Ramsey is a bit [attack-minded] and you know in my mind I have seen that the turn of our results last season was when I went for a bit of stability and put Coquelin in there. Now I am a bit cautious on that front and I do not want to unbalance the team.

"Arteta is not a Coquelin-type but he is a tactical player who loves to sit now because he is less [focused on] going forward.

"In my mind I always had Arteta and Flamini and Coquelin. But Arteta was injured so I played always Coquelin. Now with Arteta and Coquelin both injured we are of course a bit short. That’s why I play Chambers for 10 or 12 minutes to see how he positions and we are happy because he can do it."

Aaron Ramsey in training this week
Aaron Ramsey in training this week

Coquelin's injury has prompted speculation that Wenger will look to add to his squad in January.

"It’s nearly impossible to find in January a top, top player," he said. "But you have your eyes open. You never know, you can have a surplus somewhere or players who do not play and who have the quality. We’ll see."


Where would you play Aaron Ramsey?
  • In central midfield
  • On the right flank
  • Other

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Chris Harris 27 Nov 2015