Aaron Ramsey reveals how his French ex-Arsenal team-mates helped persuade him into joining Nice on free transfer


AARON Ramsey has revealed Arsenal’s former French stars played a key role in convincing him to join Nice.

The Wales midfielder, 31, moved to the south of France on a free transfer after terminating his Juventus contract.

Ramsey, who scored on his Nice debut against Toulouse last Sunday just a minute after coming off the bench, says he tapped into his own contacts before making the switch to Ligue 1.

Ramsey, who played with the likes of Frenchman Olivier Giroud, Laurent Koscielny and Bacary Sagna at Arsenal, where they were managed by countryman Arsene Wenger, said: “I have spoken to a lot of players from my days at Arsenal.

“I played with many French players who have experienced the French league so I spoke to a lot of them in the last few weeks.

“They told me a lot about this league, how good and technical it is. They told me about the history of the club and I was very interested in that.

“I know some great players have played here in the past and I hope to be a part of a very successful period for the club.

“The project that they want to try and achieve here is very inviting for me. I’m looking forward to it and it’s exciting. Hopefully I can contribute.”

Ramsey spent 11 years at Arsenal before leaving the Emirates for Juventus three years ago.

The 75-cap Welshman struggled for form and fitness at the Serie A giants and spent the second half of last season on loan at Rangers.

Now Rambo is excited about a fresh start on the French Riviera where he has been joined by ex-Cardiff team-mate Kasper Schmeichel, who left Leicester last week.

Ramsey added: “I went to Juventus and experienced that. Now I have experienced that, coming here it’s a lot easier for me. I know what to expect.

“The last few years were a great experience for me. I spent a long time at Arsenal, 11 years, but for me to go out and experience something different and go out of my comfort zone was great for me and my family. I’ll forever be grateful for that opportunity. But now I have a new opportunity, one I’m really excited about.

“I have played against Kasper many times. I played with him at Cardiff many years ago so it’s come full circle. We’re back as team-mates again.

“We have played a lot of games together and at the highest level so hopefully we can have an influence on some things and help the younger players even though these days they don’t need it as much.”

Ramsey’s focus is on Nice but he will also have an eye on November’s World Cup in Qatar – Wales’ first global finals appearance since 1958.

He said: “Of course, the World Cup is really important for me. But, right now, I just want to concentrate on Nice. I want to get up to match speed as quickly as possible and help my team-mates.

“Then, obviously, I will look forward to that when it comes around. My focus now is on Nice. We have a very important season ahead of us to try and achieve our targets.”

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