Aaron Ramsey has opened up about his move to Arsenal in 2008, revealing the reasons behind his decision to join the Gunners over Manchester United
Ramsey was signed from Cardiff in 2008 for just £5million as a 17-year-old, as Arsenal fended off interest from a number of other clubs – most notably Manchester United.
It was reported at the time that Manchester United had Gary Neville give Ramsey a tour of Old Trafford, while Arsene Wenger flew Ramsey and his family to Switzerland and met with them personally to discuss the Welshman’s potential and his future at Arsenal.
However, according to Ramsey, it was actually meeting the players he would be playing with at Arsenal that left him overawed and convinced him to join the North London side :
“I flew over to see the boss and I knew straight away that this was where I wanted to be, I wanted to be in his plans and I was just buzzing.” he said, according to The Mirror
“As soon as I came in on the first day I was a bit starstruck with all the faces there, some of the biggest players in world football. I am sure they were all thinking, ‘who is this guy coming in?’ and it was nerve racking going around and introducing yourself, meeting some of the top players in the Premier League. It was a bit surreal and I had to pinch myself, but they made me feel welcome straight away and made me feel like they were no different [to anyone else].”
Ramsey was joining a side that had Robin van Persie and Cesc Fabregas as star men, and Samir Nasri joined the club in the same window as well.
At the time, Ramsey as a 17-year old who had never played in the top flight would no doubt have been in awe of the players around him, but he has since grown into an important player for Arsenal.
Although he has suffered repeated injuries, Ramsey has also become a key figure in the Welsh international team. Wales host Serbia this Sunday at Cardiff City stadium in a FIFA World Cup qualifier, and Ramsey will be sure to feature in that game.