Aaron Ramsey’s move to Juventus beginning to reap rewards
Welsh international Aaron Ramsey has kicked on after scoring on his first start for Juventus, as the former Arsenal man's Turin gamble looks to be paying off as he flourishes in Italian football.
Ramsey moved to the Serie A champions this season on a lucrative free transfer, reported to be worth 503,000 euros (S$760,000) per week.
The 28-year-old has impressed in his first three league games for the eight-time reigning Serie A champions, having recovered from a hamstring injury picked up with Arsenal.
He found the net on his debut against Hellas Verona on Sept 21, and impressed in the following two league wins over Brescia and Spal.
"Three wins out of three in Serie A this week. Onto the Champions League Tuesday," Ramsey wrote on social media.
Juventus will host Bayer Leverkusen in their Group D clash in Turin, having being held 2-2 at Atletico Madrid in their opener.
Ramsey came on as a late substitute against Atletico, with the Italian side conceding the equaliser just two minutes later.
"I've waited a long time for this moment, I'm really happy, both for the victory and for the goal. It was important after the Atletico game," said Ramsey after his first Juve goal.
Juventus are second in Serie A - two points behind Inter Milan - with their only slip-up being a goalless draw with Fiorentina.
After a bout of pneumonia, new coach Maurizio Sarri has been implementing his changes from predecessor Massimiliano Allegri.
And Sarri has been giving more space to the Welshman, who the former Chelsea boss has been easing into the team.
Ramsey has played an average of just over an hour in each of his league games.
"We're trying to preserve him from the point of view of playing time," explained Sarri.
"There's a big difference between playing 60 and 90 minutes."
How Ramsey could fit into Sarri's already talent-packed side needs to be worked out.
The midfield boasts World Cup winners Blaise Matuidi and Sami Khedira, as well as Miralem Pjanic, Emre Can, Rodrigo Bentancur and Adrien Rabiot, who arrived from Paris Saint-Germain during the summer.
But winger Douglas Costa's injury has allowed Sarri to make more use of Ramsey, with the Welsh playmaker's driving runs proving effective for Juve.
Ramsey's creative position behind attackers Cristiano Ronaldo and Gonzalo Higuain or Paulo Dybala now seems to be confirmed, at least until Costa's return from injury. - AFP