Aaron James Ramsey (born 26 December 1990 in Caerphilly) is a Welsh international footballer, who plays as an attacking central midfielder for Arsenal, but can also play on either wing or at fullback.
After impressing in an Urdd tournament as a youngster he signed for Cardiff City, who beat off competition from Newcastle United, as a schoolboy at the age of
eight, working his way through the club's youth system. After a few more years he eventually made his Cardiff City debut in the last home game of the 2006–07
Championship season, coming on to replace Paul Parry in the final minute of the 1–0 defeat to Hull City on 28 April 2007. In doing so, Ramsey became the
youngest player to ever play for Cardiff City, aged just 16 years and 124 days, beating the previous record holder John Toshack. In June 2007, Cardiff City turned
down a bid of over £1m for Ramsey from a London-based Premier League club. The club was not named, but it was widely believed that they continued to watch
Ramsey at every available opportunity during the 2007–08 season. Cardiff also turned down a £1m offer, although the deal was to start with a payment of
£200,000 and rise depending on his future achievements, from Everton.
"Rambo", as he is known to Cardiff City fans, made his first league appearance of the 2007–08 season on 6 October, when he came on as a late substitute for
Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink in the 2–1 home win over Burnley. Ramsey signed his first professional contract in December 2007 and went on to make his first full
professional start for Cardiff on 5 January in the FA Cup against non-league side Chasetown replacing the suspended Stephen McPhail. An impressive performance
from Ramsey saw him head in the second Cardiff goal as they went on to win 3–1. Due to his performance against Chasetown, Ramsey was nominated for the
Player Of The Round award, eventually losing out to Coventry's Michael Mifsud. On 26 April, he scored his first league goal in a 3-3 draw against Burnley. He went
on to make his first career league start three weeks later in a 3–1 win over Queens Park Rangers and began to establish himself in the first team making several
more starts in the Cardiff side. He made a total of 22 appearances during the season, his first full season of professional football, and played in five of the club's
six FA Cup matches, including the final, becoming the second youngest player to play in an FA cup final after Curtis Weston, who played in the 2004 FA Cup Final
Following Ramsey's impressive performance in the 2–0 FA Cup quarter-final win over Middlesbrough it was revealed that Manchester United manager Sir Alex
Ferguson had talked to Cardiff boss Dave Jones to inquire about Ramsey, who were later joined by Arsenal and Everton in following his progress. Ramsey grew up a
Manchester United fan as he looked up to fellow Welshman Ryan Giggs as well as Roy Keane. Cardiff Chairman Peter Ridsdale told the BBC that Arsenal's bid of £5
million up front had been accepted. Arsenal's bid did not include a loan clause that would allow Ramsey to stay at Cardiff for another season. Cardiff City assistant
manager and former Arsenal player and coach Terry Burton, who was credited for having brought through Ramsey, also helped recommend him to Arsenal manager
Arsène Wenger, having retained a longstanding connection to the club. During the transfer negotiations, Burton also advised that Ramsey join Arsenal, citing the
similarity between the player and the club's overall style of play.
On 10 June 2008 it was confirmed that after meeting officials from Arsenal, Manchester United and Everton, Ramsey had decided to join Arsenal, who paid Cardiff
City a total of £4.8 million for the player. The move was completed on 13 June 2008 on what is said to be a long-term contract. The main reason he chose Arsenal
ahead of the other clubs that pursued his signature was the approach of Arsenal manager Arsène Wenger, who flew him and his family to Switzerland to
talk about the plans Wenger had for him and his potential future with Arsenal. Wenger described Ramsey as "a player with a fantastic engine, good build, good
technique and good vision".
Ramsey made his competitive debut for Arsenal in the Champions League Third Qualifying Round against FC Twente on 13 August 2008 and his league debut a
month later against Blackburn Rovers on 13 September 2008, marking it with an assist to Emmanuel Adebayor for Arsenal's fourth and Adebayor's third. On 23
September 2008 he completed 90 minutes in Arsenal's third round Carling Cup game against Sheffield United where he added two more assists to his season's
tally, setting up Nicklas Bendtner and Carlos Vela, which Arsenal won 6–0. He scored his first goal for the club in their 5–2 victory away against Fenerbahce in the
group stages of the UEFA Champions League by shooting a long range shot which hit the left post and went in, becoming the fifth youngest scorer in Champions
League history, and only the second player born in the 1990s to score a Champions League goal. Ramsey was named amongst host of young players poised to
shine in 2009 by Fifa.com. On 1 July 2009, he signed a new long-term contract at Arsenal.
On 22 August, Ramsey scored his first league goal in a one-on-one against goalkeeper David James as Arsenal beat Portsmouth 4–1 at Emirates Stadium and then set up Andrey Arshavin in a 3–1 home win over Celtic in the Champions League play-offs. In the 28 October Carling Cup fourth round win against Liverpool, he produced an impressive performance that earned him the Man of the Match award. So far he has made the squad list for every match but mostly on the bench as Cesc Fàbregas' back up.
Aaron made his first Premier League start of the season on November 7, 2009 as Arsenal beat Wolverhampton Wanderers 4-1 at Molineux with Ramsey completing 90-minutes for the first time in the top-flight. Four days after the game, he was awarded the Welsh young player of the year award.
As of November 7, Ramsey has featured in 14 matches in 2009-10 for the Gunners, compared to 22 in the entire 2008-09 campaign, showing his growing presence within Arsenal's first team squad.
Ramsey had his first taste of international football when he was called up for the Wales U17's in 2005. He debuted for the U21 side on 21 August 2007 in a 4-3
away win over Sweden U21's several months shy of his seventeenth birthday, breaking former club mate Chris Gunter's record. Youth coach Brian Flynn revealed
that Ramsey had been purposely held back in the U21's to help qualify for the 2009 U21 European Championships but they lost a close contest to England U21's in
the play-offs, where Ramsey himself scored an outstanding goal in the second leg at Villa Park.
On 19 November 2008, John Toshack named Ramsey in the squad to face Denmark in a friendly. On 14 October 2009, he scored his first senior goal in the 2010
World Cup qualifier away at Liechenstein from a free kick awarded for a trip on Gareth Bale. With the World Cup qualification campaign now over, he and 11 other
senior internationals were recalled to the Flynn's preliminary U21 squad on 30 October for a qualifier. On 6 November, Toshack also called him up for the 14
November friendly against Scotland. Wales won 3-0 and Ramsey was involved in all of them, tallying an assist and scoring a solo goal.
* Welsh Young Player of the Year: 1 / 2009
As a child Ramsey attended Ysgol Gyfun Cwm Rhymni in the Caerphilly County Borough. Before turning to football, he was a keen rugby player and as a schoolboy
he played as a winger for Caerphilly R.F.C.s youth development programme, where he was approached by scouts from Rugby league side St Helens RLFC after
playing in a youth match against them but had already been signed by Cardiff City's youth academy. He lived with his parents, Marlene and Kevin, and his brother,
Josh, until moving to London where he was housemates with former Cardiff City teammate Chris Gunter, then at Tottenham Hotspur, until the latter's move to
Nottingham Forest. Ramsey is bilingual, fluent in both Welsh and English.