Tomas Rosicky has been at Arsenal for five years now and signed a contract with the club in 2009 after recovering from a serious long term injury, which kept him out of the game for 18 months. "The Little Mozart" remains one of the most creative players in the Arsenal squad and this season he has shown that he is free from his injury troubles of the past.
Tomas Rosicky was awarded the famous No. 7 shirt, previously worn by the legendary Robert Pires when he signed for the Gunners in 2006. Though he has not replicated the goal-scoring instincts of Pires, he has been a good player for the Gunners and it would not be too much of an exaggeration to comment that he would have been one of the best players in the current squad, if not for his injury problems in his Arsenal career.
Rosicky is a player who is comfortable with the "Arsenal way" of playing and the nimble-footed midfielder possesses excellent vision and creativity. He has got good dribbling skills and has proved to be an asset to the side. Even though he is 30, he retains good pace and has shown that he can cope with the demands of the Premier League.
He is known for his defence-splitting passes and good runs, which are helpful in creating goals. However, the criticism that he has faced in the recent past is his inability to score goals on a regular basis. He was heavily criticised for a missed penalty this season but he later accepted the blame and said he had to take it because no one else was ready to take up the responsibility.
Samir Nasri has taken over the penalty-taking duties in the absence of Cesc Fabregas and Robin van Persie and has also established his place in the team with some scintillating performances in this season. If Arsenal have all their players fit and firing, it is probable that Wenger will choose a starting 11 which does not feature Tomas Rosicky, who will be expected to provide creativity from the bench, if needed.
But the Arsenal squad have mostly been affected by injuries over the course of the season and Rosicky has got his chances in this season as well. He has made a total of 20 appearances this season, making 11 starts which is a decent amount of playing time for him. He is yet to reproduce his best form but he is certainly playing better and looking sharper than last season.
His versatility is an asset to any team and he is comfortable on the wings or in central midfield. Recently, Wenger has utilized his services in the centre of the park, playing in the role of Fabregas. He is an excellent team player and tracks back to help out his team's defence. He is a leader on the pitch, which could be seen from the game against Aston Villa.
He commands the respect of his teammates and clearly remains as one of the influential figures in the dressing room. At the age of 30, he provides some much needed experience to the squad and can be of great help to some of the youngsters developing at Arsenal. He does play a role in the team and will make around 30 to 40 appearances in this season but his role off the pitch will also be important for the Gunners' success in the future.
Aaron Ramsey is an exciting young prospect who has the potential to be one of the world's best midfielders in the future. However, he suffered a brutal injury (double fracture) in February, which has kept him out of the game for around 10 months. But the Wales international is finally ready for competitive football and has been sent out on loan for a month to Nottingham Forest to gain some valuable playing time and improve on his match fitness.
Ramsey is touted to be the replacement for Fabregas in the future and if he does play close to what he is capable of, Rosicky is the player who could find himself having fewer minutes on the pitch. The Czech captain is a player of superb quality but Ramsey is the future of Arsenal and will be provided the time he needs to build on his potential by Arsene Wenger.
However, Wenger should persuade Rosicky to stay with the club for at least another year or so to help guide these youngsters to reach their potential. Rosicky knows what it is to make a return from a long injury and though he did not suffer the injury from a rash tackle, he can provide the right advice for Ramsey. Rosicky feared at one point that he might not be able to play football again but here he is, back to his flourishing ways at Arsenal.
Also, the defensive aspects of Rosicky's game are pretty good and Ramsey, Wilshere and the midfielders of the future can learn a lot from the experienced midfielder. He is good at sliding tackles and in general, winning possession in the middle of the park. His commitment on the pitch is exemplary and the youngsters would do well to learn from that.
He can be a source of inspiration for Aaron Ramsey and many other young Gunners, who will benefit from his presence in the League Cup ties and other matches. He will make a decent number of appearances for the Gunners considering he is still capable of playing at the highest level and should he recapture his form, he could even establish himself as a regular in the team.
As far as the goals are concerned, if he scores a couple of goals, his confidence will rise and he should be able to get more important goals for his club.
He has been strongly linked with a move to Aston Villa with Gerrard Houllier making him as one of his January transfer targets. However, Wenger should make Rosicky feel that he is an important player and convince him that he has a future at the club. Cesc Fabregas will surely be sought after by Barcelona in the next summer and should he depart, Tomas Rosicky will have an important role in moulding the future of Arsenal.