Arsene Wenger shifted Aaron Ramsey from the right wing to the double pivot for Arsenal’s gameweek 15 clash with Sunderland and the Welsh international responded with a goal and an assist. He following week, operating in the same position, he registered another goal. With that, the legend was born that Aaron Ramsey was back operating in his favourite position and returning to the swashbuckling ways that saw him take the Fantasy Premier League by storm two seasons ago. His price, which had dropped to 8.0m from a season-opening 8.5m, began to rebound as more than 100,000 managers moved to bring him in.
He followed those back-to-back scoring gameweeks by failing to deliver attacking returns for four straight weeks. The sales began in gameweek 19 and nearly 30,000 FPL managers have ejected him from their team since then.
However, the legend overlooks Ramsey’s underlying statistics. For example, while Ramsey undoubtedly had a great game against Sunderland from the middle of the park, he also played well from wide right against Watford in gameweek 9, hitting six shots inside the box and scoring with one. Following that match, a hamstring injury put him out of action until gameweek 14.
The Welshman has only failed to unleash a shot in one game this season – one in which he was playing centrally. He shoots regularly and has averaged one shot on target per game played, which puts him in the second tier of midfielders for this metric this season. The top tier for shots on target consists of Riyad Mahrez and, maybe, Philippe Coutinho.
As the chart shows, Ramsey’s stats are well proportioned. He takes plenty of shots, takes most of them from inside the box and hits roughly as many on target as the league average. The area where the Gunners’ midfielder is falling down is in scoring goals. If he was converting his shots on target at a rate consistent with the league average he would have registered five goals by now.
Ramsey is also a little unfortunate that his team mates, who have scored from 19 per cent of the chances created by Mesut Özil, have only converted four per cent of the chances he has teed-up.
Looking at the data, it appears Ramsey’s problem is not one of position, but one of conversion. Regression to the mean for Ramsey would mean an increase in his goal output. He has proven capable at converting shots on target into goals at, or slightly above, the league average in each of the last two seasons. It is possible he is having a bad season or, maybe, he will come back to haunt those who sell. Only time will tell.