Craig Bellamy believes Aaron Ramsey should start in central midfield for Arsenal ahead of Mesut Ozil, saying his compatriot is one of the world’s best when fully fit.
Bellamy, making his Sky Sports Monday Night Football debut in place of Gary Neville, says Welshman Ramsey is “one of the top central players in world football” when fit, and that he should start ahead of Ozil, who has scored four goals and assisted a further 12 in 19 games this season.
Ramsey has returned from injury, replacing the sidelined pair of Francis Coquelin and Santi Cazorla in Arsenal’s midfield two alongside Mathieu Flamini, but Bellamy feels that restricts the 24-year-old’s game.
“Aaron wants to get forward but for me has to play in a [midfield] three,” Bellamy told Monday Night Football. “He has to be in the centre. If you ask him to sit [deep] you restrict a lot of his game.
“Ozil has played left at certain times,” explained Bellamy. “It’s not just me being biased. I have known Aaron since he was five years of age. I would play him central before I would play Ozil.
“It might be a difficult statement at this moment because of Ozil’s (form), but I feel personally watching Ramsey’s game and watching him develop over the last couple of years that he is one of the top central players in world football when he’s fit and he proved that last summer when Barcelona wanted him. This summer if Arsenal wanted to sell then top clubs would want him, because he’s that good.
“He wants to score, always looks to break the lines and he’s a good finisher as well. I felt before his injury (in 2013-14) he was the best player in the Premier League, last year he was stop and start with injuries but if he can just get rid of that he will be one of the best in the Premier League.”