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Tuesday 16 January 2018

Chris Coleman to take Arsenal's lead with Aaron Ramsey

Aaron Ramsey is set to return to World Cup duty with Wales manager Chris Coleman saying they will take no risks over his fitness
Aaron Ramsey is set to return to World Cup duty with Wales manager Chris Coleman saying they will take no risks over his fitness

Chris Coleman says Wales will heed any Arsenal advice over the fitness of Aaron Ramsey.

The midfielder made his first start since the opening day of the season when playing 75 minutes of Arsenal's 3-2 Champions League victory over Ludogorets on Tuesday.

Ramsey is expected to play some part in the north London derby against Tottenham on Sunday ahead of Wales' crunch World Cup qualifier with Serbia next weekend.

The 25-year-old has missed the opening three World Cup qualifiers because of a hamstring problem and W ales are desperate for Ramsey to return to international duty.

"It's the best chance we're going to get that he comes with us and he can play, if not 90 then as long as he can," Wales manager Coleman said.

"And whatever Arsenal say to us - this is what he's capable of - we won't (go against that).

"We've never done that with any player.

"Whatever they say he's capable of, and whatever Aaron says he's capable of, that's what will happen."

Coleman had a spat with Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger last November over another Ramsey hamstring injury.

Wenger blamed the injury on Wales not resting him for their final Euro 2016 tie against Andorra after qualification had already been achieved.

But Coleman called the criticism a "cheap shot" after Ramsey picked up the injury against Bayern Munich a week after the Andorra game, having also played in a Premier League game at Watford in the meantime.

"The finger was pointed towards us and I had an issue with that, but I dealt with it," Coleman said.

"He's Arsenal's player, he doesn't belong to us. But I do protect my medical team because I know how hard they worked with Aaron, and I know that they would never take a chance.

"We can't afford to burn our bridges with any club and disrespect them.

"But what we do is protect ourselves because we do protect the players.

"It's not in our interest to send injured players back because we won't get them again."

Ramsey was arguably Wales' best player in the summer as Coleman's side reached the semi-finals of Euro 2016.

He was named in the official team of the tournament and his absence has been felt in the opening qualifiers with Wales slipping two points behind early pace-setters Serbia.

And Coleman feels Ramsey needs the intensity of a north London derby to get him up to speed for World Cup duty.

"Normally I'm not too disappointed if I see him on the bench for this last weekend (before a Wales game)," Coleman said.

"I hate this weekend, you're always nervous about it.

"But I think he probably needs game-time and I was delighted he played the European game.

"I hope he does play (against Spurs). I can see the physical element will be a little bit tasty, but I think that will be good for him and hopefully he will come through it and be right for our game."

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