Ramsey Misses Out But It’s No China Crisis Says Giggs

Aaron Ramsey was the major absentee as Ryan Giggs named his first Wales squad since taking over from Chris Coleman.

The Arsenal midfielder will miss next week’s China Cup as he is having a ‘small procedure’ during the international break.

Ramsey is available for Arsenal’s Europa League tie with AC Milan tonight before then sitting out the trip to the Far East.

But Real Madrid ace Gareth Bale is in the squad.

“It’s a blow because he’s a quality player but it’s the best thing to do for the future and for Aaron,” said Giggs.

“Gareth lights up the pitch whenever he is on it. Hopefully all the players selected will get through the weekend.

“It gives a chance for a lot of these players to show what they can do.”

The squad also did not include Reading midfielder Dave Edwards who has announced his retirement from international football.

But there are call-ups for uncapped Brentford defender Chris Mepham along with Swansea defender Connor Roberts, Preston midfielder Billy Bodin and Ipswich goalkeeper Michael Crowe.

Giggs also confirmed that Everton defender Ashley Williams, who has had a difficult season at times, will continue as Wales captain, Giggs confirmed.

Wales face hosts China on March 22 in Nanning before then facing either Uruguay or Czech Republic on March 26.

Giggs also confirmed his back-room team will include Osian Roberts and Tony Roberts who retain their roles.

They will be joined by Albert Stuivenberg and Tony Strudwick who both have links with Giggs’ old club Manchester United.

Former Manchester United coach Stuivenberg had spells in charge of Belgian First Division club Genk and the Netherlands under-17 and under-21 teams, as well as youth coach at Feyenoord and Al Jazira Club.

Strudwick, United head of athletic development, takes over from Dr Ryland Morgans as head of performance.

“I’m delighted with the staff,”said Giggs. “Everyone who I’ve brought in were my first choice.”

Wales squad: Wayne Hennessey (Crystal Palace), Chris Maxwell (Preston), Michael Crowe (Ipswich); Ashley Williams (Everton), James Chester (Aston Villa), Ben Davies (Tottenham), Chris Gunter (Reading), Neil Taylor (Aston Villa), Declan John (Rangers), Connor Roberts (Swansea), Ethan Ampadu (Chelsea), Tom Lockyer (Bristol Rovers); Joe Allen (Stoke), Joe Ledley (Derby), Lee Evans (Sheffield United), Andy King (Swansea), Ryan Hedges (Barnsley), Chris Mepham (Brentford), Marley Watkins (Norwich), Tom Lawrence (Derby), Gareth Bale (Real Madrid), Ben Woodburn (Liverpool), Harry Wilson (Hull); Billy Bodin (Preston), Sam Vokes (Burnley), Tom Bradshaw (Barnsley)

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