Wales coach Chris Coleman has saluted Arsenal ace Aaron Ramsey, claiming that the midfielder is in the best form of his career.
After recovering from a horrific leg break sustained against Stoke in February 2010, Ramsey has finally nailed a regular starting place at the Emirates this season.
The 22-year-old scored three times against Fenerbahce to help the Gunners reach the Champions League group stages, as well as delivering impressive displays in the wins over Fulham and Tottenham.
Coleman, who will look to Ramsey for inspiration as Gareth Bale is expected to start on the bench in Wales’ World Cup qualifier at Macedonia on Friday, said: “Aaron has been superb for Arsenal this season. All that has happened is he’s taken time and games to get stronger and get that fluidity back in his play.
“I had serious injuries myself as a player. People talk about the physical part, which is important as you have to get the agility, but mentally it is tough. It’s hard.
“The best way to get through it is to keep playing lots of games and get back in the first team. It’s been stop-start at Arsenal because he is surrounded by good players and he hasn’t always been first-choice.
“It’s taken him time, but you have to look at him during pre-season and the start of the season and take your hat off to him. He’s got himself back in that position where he’s playing the football we all thought he was capable of.
“He’s been outstanding. He’s got a spring in his step and is confident. He’s doing things at both ends of the pitch. He’s defending well, his positional play is much better and he’s linking the play up in the last third. Even before he had the injury, this is his best form.”
Coleman reckons Ramsey’s stunning start to the season even means Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger will find it difficult to leave out the Welshman despite
If Wenger feels the same way, that would put question marks over England’s Jack Wilshere and Tomas Rosicky.
Coleman added: “All he has to do is keep doing what he has been doing. Ozil is a great player, but if Aaron keeps playing like he is, then I don’t think it will be Aaron Ramsey losing his place.
“I’m not the Arsenal manager and it’s not up to me. It’s up to Arsene Wenger and he’s a quality manager. But if Aaron keeps doing what he has been doing then I can’t see him losing his place.”
Ramsey returns for Wales in Skopje after a two-game absence, having not played for his country since producing a man-of-the-performance in Wales’ 2-1 victory in Scotland.
The ex-Cardiff ace enjoyed a bittersweet night at Hampden Park in March, scoring a second-half penalty before receiving a last-minute red card.
Coleman said: “I’m looking forward to having him. He was outstanding at Hampden Park. He ran the game.
“Unfortunately, he then got sent off in the last minute. We’ve not had him since, but it’s nice to have him back.”