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The Welshman enjoyed a superb 2013-14 season, netting 16 goals, and showed Arsenal fans he is ready to pick up where he left off in his first pre-season outing on Saturday

Aaron Ramsey's 2013-14 season involved its fair share of ups and downs, with the Welshman finally living up to his potential before injury cruelly cut him down midway through the campaign.

Integral to Arsenal's early title charge, he only returned to action once Liverpool, Manchester City and Chelsea were out of sight, but he struck the decisive goal in the FA Cup final to hand the Gunners their first trophy since 2005.

It may have been his first outing of the summer, but he took the first steps to proving his worth ahead of the new campaign in the first half against Boreham Wood. Here, Goal assesses his performance.

PERFORMANCE AGAINST BOREHAM WOOD

Named as captain for the first half, Ramsey turned in an understated, yet effective, performance for the Gunners.

One of the more experienced members of a young midfield – including Francis Coquelin and Chris Willock – Ramsey kept his discipline throughout the opening 45 minutes, largely restricting himself to short, simple passes as Arsenal looked to maintain possession. He linked up well with 17-year-old Gedion Zelalem, in particular.

Involved in almost every attack, Ramsey recycled the ball well and looked threatening whenever he did choose to surge forward, seeing one shot graze the post on its way wide.

Substituted for Tomas Rosicky at half-time, the most important thing for many Arsenal fans will be that Ramsey escaped uninjured, as he looks set to play a major role in a Gunners title tilt in 2014-15.

HE'D BE PERFECT FOR...

In short, Arsenal. An impressive athlete, Ramsey is almost invaluable as he offers the kind of stamina and drive required in the centre of the Gunners' midfield.

With a number of flair players further forward, Ramsey offers both defensive stability given his proficiency in the tackle and a goal threat, as a result of his surging runs.

Arguably the 'complete' midfielder, Ramsey scored 16 goals in all competitions last season and was integral to the Gunners' early title charge.

If he is to stay fit in 2014-15 and deliver his very best form, and Arsenal were to fail to live up to pre-season predictions, expect the likes of Barcelona and Manchester City to come sniffing around the Wales international.

WHAT DOES THE FUTURE HOLD?

In a nod to the future, Ramsey was handed the captain's armband for the first half against Boreham Wood and the Welshman will certainly feature heavily in Arsene Wenger's plans this season.

Having signed Alexis Sanchez, Wenger has shown he is keen to challenge at the top of the Premier League following their Ramsey-related collapse in 2013-14.

Much could be made of Ramsey's injury woes last term, with the club's dip in form coinciding with his lay-off, and, should he stay fit, the 23-year-old is likely to be one of the first names on Wenger's teamsheet for this campaign. Should he recapture his early form of last season, another trophy may await the Gunners come May.


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