Aaron Ramsey sees bright future for Arsenal midfield

 

Aaron Ramsey feels Arsenal's young midfield can only grow stronger.

The Wales captain may not turn 21 until Boxing Day, but he will be in the thick of the action again on Sunday when the Gunners head to Barclays Premier League leaders Manchester City.

England 19-year-old Jack Wilshere is expected to return from an ankle problem in early 2012, giving manager Arsene Wenger more youth to call upon with the likes of Emmanuel Frimpong and Francis Coquelin both also impressing this season.

Ramsey feels such talent can only be positive for the club's long-term future.

"There's plenty of young talent there and we have to bond even more and gel as a team throughout the years. Hopefully we'll make it successful for many years," Ramsey told Arsenal Player.

"It's important that you have that core, that you've been together for a few years and you understand each other.

"It'll only make us stronger because you realise what to do on the pitch."

Coquelin has eight first-team appearances under his belt already this season, including starts against Manchester United and Tottenham.

The 20-year-old had a productive loan spell back in France last season, and it has been suggested he could head to Lille in January.

For now, though, the combative midfielder is focused on making the most of any more chances with the Gunners.

He said in L'Equipe. "In my heart, I know I can do something in this Arsenal team, but to be the best, I need regular matches.

"For now, the transfer window is not open and I am focused on Arsenal, but when there really is interest, we'll see what happens."

The Gunners head to City following a seventh win in the last eight league games.

However, it needed another moment of genius from in-form captain Robin van Persie to secure victory over a stubborn Everton side at Emirates Stadium.

Manager Arsene Wenger accepts his side have become somewhat reliant on the Dutchman, who has chalked up 19 for the season and is fast closing in on a new Premier League record for the calendar year.

Midfielder Mikel Arteta feels the whole squad need to help lift the burden on their captain.

"Sometimes we get space to move into when the forward players have attracted defenders to them, and we need to stay aware of that," he said.

"We have players to score from that range."

Wenger again looks set to have to play four central defenders along the backline at Etihad Stadium because of injury to all four recognised full-backs.

Thomas Vermaelen moved out to the left against Everton, as Laurent Koscielny partnered Per Mertesacker in the middle, with Swiss international Johan Djourou filling in at right-back.

PA

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