Rob Page says Aaron Ramsey is eyeing 100 caps after being re-appointed captain

Aaron Ramsey is focused on joining the Wales 100-cap club after being skippered a decade after the “pain” of losing the captaincy.

Ramsey received the armband ahead of the Euro 2024 qualifiers against Croatia and Latvia, replacing Gareth Bale, who retired from football in January after winning a record 111 caps for the Wales men’s team.

The 32-year-old has 78 caps and, according to Page, Ramsey says there is motivation for the Nice midfielder to join his longtime teammates Bale, Chris Gunter and Wayne Hennessey as Welsh centurions to complete his international to continue career.

“I think it could be a motivation for any player, you would want that milestone of 100 caps,” said Page, after also appointing a 24-man squad and Tottenham defender Ben Davies as vice-captain for this month’s qualifiers .

“But for me I have to remove the emotion from it. I have a world class soccer player and I will use him as long as I have him.

“Can he play two consecutive games in a week at the highest, highest level? Probably not, we have to sort that out.”

Ramsey was previously captain of Wales, having been appointed by the late Gary Speed ​​in March 2011 aged 20.

Speed’s successor, Chris Coleman, handed the armband over to Ashley Williams in October 2012, allowing Ramsey to focus on his football.

Page said: “Aaron was vice-captain behind Gareth and it’s a natural progression to give him the armband.

“He has so much more experience than before. That was also part of my argument.

“Getting the armband and then having it taken off you would have hurt him a bit.

“He is now at the right moment in his career to represent Wales and bring the lads out.

“He can show the players what it means to represent your country. He enjoys it and hugged every minute of it.

“He’s enthusiastic and that’s why I know he’s going to step up to the plate and absolutely deliver.”

As well as the departure of record goalscorer Bale – who confirmed he is not in an advisory role after previously hinting that might be the case – Gunter, Joe Allen and Jonny Williams have also all signed on following Wales’ disappointing World Cup campaign withdrawn from the international scene.

Page has called up four non-caps to his squad for the trip to World Cup semi-finalists Croatia on March 25 and the home game against Latvia in Cardiff three days later.

Midfield trio Jordan James, Luke Harris and Ollie Cooper, and forward Nathan Broadhead are all included.

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In-form Nottingham Forest forward Brennan Johnson is included despite suffering a groin strain at Tottenham on Saturday.

Page remains confident Johnson will be fit for the first clash against Croatia, saying: “Our medical director has been in contact with Forest and there is a plan for him.

“Probably it’s a bit of fatigue given the many minutes he’s had to play in a tough and demanding league. But we’ll be sensible and make sure he’s in the right place on match day.”

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