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Aaron Ramsey: Will Wales midfielder be Juventus starter?

Aaron Ramsey made his debut for Juventus in a pre-season friendly against Triestina

Aaron Ramsey could make his first competitive appearance for Juventus when the new Serie A season begins this weekend.

The Wales midfielder, 28, will aim to become a Juve regular alongside the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo and Giorgio Chiellini having arrived from Arsenal in the summer.

But what chance is there of Ramsey establishing himself as key man for the Bianconeri?

A raft of European heavyweights showed interest when it became clear Ramsey would be leaving the Emirates on a free transfer.

Having chosen Juventus, the 58-cap international faces a battle to establish himself in Turin.

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How will Ramsey fit into Sarri’s plan?

Maurizio Sarri was appointed Juventus manager in June after just one season as Chelsea boss.

In his brief spell in the Premier League, he became known for his reluctance to tinker with his midfield.

Sarri brought Jorginho with him from Napoli and played the Italian international at the base of midfield ahead of N’Golo Kante.

It was a ploy which was widely criticised but Sarri would not budge, as he saw Jorginho as a key cog in his trademark 4-3-3 system.

If his Juventus team are set up in a similar way, then where is Ramsey most likely to play?

“It’s a fascinating question,” European football expert Nicky Bandini tells BBC Sport Wales.

“Juventus’ midfield is overstocked. They have brought in Ramsey and Adrien Rabiot this summer but haven’t yet moved anyone out, so they have six or seven players trying to get three places.

“Trying to work out how Ramsey will fit in is not easy. Sarri has said because he has so many options, he needs to cut six players from his Champions League squad and that they are going to be good players.

“I don’t think that will be Ramsey – I am sure there will be a role for him – but is he in the first XI in Sarri’s mind right now? I am not sure.”

Could he be a regular?

Ramsey made his Juventus debut in a friendly against Triestina last weekend, coming on for the last 20 minutes of a 1-0 win, making his first appearance since April following a hamstring problem.

Ramsey said he felt good physically after the game, but acknowledged he will need time to get up to speed after a significant injury lay-off.

When he is fully fit, will a player who has signed a four-year deal worth more than £400,000 a week nail down a first team place?

His form will need to be good, for Juve’s squad is packed with midfield talent.

German World Cup winner Sami Khedira, France’s Rabiot and Miralem Pjanic, the vastly experienced Bosnia and Herzegovina player, started in midfield against Triestina.

On the bench was another World Cup winner, France’s Blaise Matuidi, plus former Liverpool player Emre Can and Uruguay’s Rodrigo Bentancur.

It is quite a list of options.

Ramsey could be deployed a little further forward, but competition is fierce in that area of the pitch too, with the likes of Douglas Costa and Paulo Dybala – not to mention Ronaldo – at Sarri’s disposal.

“We have to wait because Aaron Ramsey is in the beginning of his story with Juventus,” says Filippo Conticello, Juventus editor of the Gazzetta dello Sport.

“We need time and he needs time to understand which is the best position for him.

“In Sarri’s system there are three midfielders. The left one will be Rabiot and in the centre will be Pjanic. The right position could be the one for Ramsey.

“He is a box-to-box midfielder. He is perfect to try to attack close to Ronaldo, Dybala and Douglas Costa.

“The one problem with Ramsey is in his career he has had a lot of injuries but, if he is healthy, I think he is going to play a lot of matches.”

A role alongside Pjanic may look the most likely at this stage for Ramsey, but there are other options.

“There has been some talk about Sarri adapting his formation and using a No. 10, which would suit Ramsey. But because he has not played a lot in pre-season, we haven’t seen that yet,” Bandini adds.

“Might he get some opportunities in a wide role or up front? There’s a lot of competition there too. It’s a problem for Juventus.”

Wales manager Ryan Giggs expects Aaron Ramsey to make a big impression in Italy

‘He will get in that team’

Wales manager Ryan Giggs will have fingers crossed that Ramsey thrives in Italy.

Ramsey is a key player for his country, a talisman who, like Gareth Bale, lifts the squad through presence alone.

Giggs is convinced the Cardiff City product has what it takes to flourish.

“Aaron’s gone to a brilliant club with massive history,” he says.

“It’s a new experience, a new way of playing football and I think that will help. It will be a great move for him.

“There are not many midfielders who can play (like Ramsey) – get beyond the forwards, score goals, create chances. He’s something different.

“It will be competitive because Juventus have a lot of good players, but an Aaron Ramsey on form will get in that team no problem.”

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