Aaron Ramsey has outlined the key attributes needed to become the “complete" midfielder.
The Wales international has played the majority of his 252 appearances for Arsenal in the middle of the park, and has missed just four Premier League games this season.
Ramsey says striking the right balance between knowing when to attack and when to defend is crucial in the modern game
An all-round midfielder needs to have that, where you can defend, you can tackle, you can create goals, you can score goals. That’s the complete midfielder that I want to be
“It’s obviously a balance but if you do sense an opportunity to break away from your man to get into the box or to be free in the box, you have to take it because you can score a goal from it,” he told Arsenal Player. “But you have to get back in as quickly as possible and when you are, try to get a bit of a breather then.
“And then it all starts again. I prefer to get forward, to get on the end of things, to create things. But it’s important to defend and help the team out defensively as well.
“But it’s also nice when you win the ball in quite a deep position and then you can start an attack which leads to a goal. That’s quite rewarding as well.
“An all-round midfielder needs to have that, where you can defend, you can tackle, you can create goals, you can score goals. That’s the complete midfielder that I want to be.”
Ramsey says quick decision making is becoming ever-more important, with opposition teams pressing higher up the pitch.
“Your time on the ball is definitely a lot shorter now so you have to try and make your decisions and try and have options a lot quicker than before,” he said. “It’s just the way the game is going.
“It’s becoming a lot quicker, a lot more physical, so you have to be able to make decisions a lot quicker and move the ball quicker as well.
“I feel really confident and comfortable in the middle. I back myself to put in performances every week.
“The game is always developing and the demands are always a bit more every season. Hopefully I can continue developing as a player.
“I think there’s definitely more to come.”Copyright 2016 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source