Rob Page Leaves Out Aaron Ramsey . . . But Keeps Door Open For Quick Return

HENSOL, WALES - MARCH 25: Aaron Ramsey during the Wales Football Training and Press Conference at The Vale Resort on March 25, 2024 in Hensol, Wales. (Photo by Athena Pictures/Getty Images)

Rob Page Leaves Out Aaron Ramsey . . . But Keeps Door Open For Quick Return

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By David Williams

Rob Page is confident Aaron Ramsey will play for Wales again after leaving his veteran captain out of the squad for two summer friendlies.

Ramsey has been plagued by injury since returning to hometown club Cardiff last summer.

The 33-year-old played a full 90 minutes in only one of the seven Championship games that he started for the Bluebirds, and boss Page did not risk him off the bench as Wales suffered Euro 2024 play-off shoot-out despair to Poland in March.

Ramsey has now been omitted from the squad named to take on Gibraltar in Portugal on June 6 and Slovakia in Trnava three days later.

“Aaron wants to use this opportunity to get himself in a position, from a fitness perspective, to have a full pre-season,” Page said.

“He wants to take charge of his own rehabilitation and fitness and hit the ground running next season domestically.

“I completely agree with it. It makes complete sense instead of coming away and pushing himself to play minutes in two friendlies.

“It’s more important for him to get his body in a position where he can be a bit more robust and sustain what’s going to be needed in pre-season.

“There’s no alarms raised for me whatsoever. He’s still passionate about playing football as much as he was five or 10 years ago.

“He loves the game, he lives for it, no questions about that. He’s given himself the best opportunity to keep playing.”

Former Arsenal, Juventus and Nice midfielder Ramsey won the last of his 84 caps against Latvia in September.

Winning a recall on the international stage for this autumn’s Nations League campaign, and 2026 World Cup qualifiers beyond that, appear to rest on Ramsey proving his fitness over the next few months.

Page said: “We are going to need to see how he gets on in pre-season, from a fitness point of view.

“He struggled with his fitness last year, and both myself and Aaron were frustrated with that. We didn’t have him fighting fit in March for the play-offs.

“If he’s fit, doing well, and playing two games a week that we would like him to, then he’ll be selected.”

Wayne Hennessey, another survivor of the Wales squad that reached the semi-finals of Euro 2016, was also missing from Page’s summer squad.

The 37-year-old is Wales’ second most-capped player with 109, but he is without a club after leaving Nottingham Forest last week and is currently recovering from a serious Achilles injury.

Page said: “Wayne will be looking at what the future holds for him. It’s a significant injury, not a quick fix – you’re looking at months for a senior player like that.

“I think the world of Wayne and have had him in every squad. I will speak to him in the next few days before we go on camp and see where his head is at.

“His focus will be on getting fit and being in a position that if he wants to continue playing he can do so.”

Page has called up uncapped trio Lewis Koumas, Charlie Crew and Fin Stevens, with all three set to make their debuts against Gibraltar at the Estadio Algarve.

He said: “It’s a no-brainer, exposing them to the culture for these games.

“I’ve been impressed by Lewis’ finishing and I could not have left him out after what he has done in the first team at Liverpool.

“Charlie has also been in the first-team squad at Leeds. He’s a player. He has talent in abundance.”

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