Quiz time: Which Arsenal player has the most combined goals and assists this season?
OK, it is a trick question as there are two players that currently lead the way.
Alexandre Lacazette has 8 goals and 1 assists – 9 in total. Alongside him is Aaron Ramsey with 3 goals and 6 assists.
No Arsenal player has more Premier League assists than Aaron Ramsey this season. An incredible statistic considering he does not take corner and free kicks.
He comes in for a lot of criticism, and it is often justified. He has had an up and down career at Arsenal, but his good form this season has gone under the radar.
Now you could argue that his job is to not get goals and assists. That by him bombing forward, getting into advanced positions, leaves a hole in behind him that Granit Xhaka has struggled to fill. But then he also leads the way in tackles and interceptions per game (excluding the defenders).
His problem is that he is not a naturally defensive player. He needs someone in behind him who will cover the ground, someone like N’Golo Kante would have worked perfect in tandem with Ramsey.
For much of his career, Ramsey has been a square peg in a round hole. Expected to do a defensive role in the team, when he actually wants to bomb forward and get involved.
His assist for Alexandre Lacazette against Manchester United was a great example of his ability to make perfectly timed runs into the box. His awareness to head back to the Frenchman was world class.
With both Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil to leave, maybe the time has come for Ramsey to move further up the field – his more natural position where he plays for Wales.
When I see that someone like Leon Goretzka is available on a free transfer, it makes me think that we should go all out for him to play central midfield, and move Aaron Ramsey further forward.
It is not about being cheap, it is about being sensible. Goretzka will become one of the best central midfielders in world football, and Ramsey has proven what he can do in more advanced positions. It would also leave us even more money available to buy someone to partner Ramsey behind Lacazette in the future.
Aaron Ramsey’s good form is probably a surprise to you all.