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EURO 2024 qualifiers

Wales boss Page defends Ramsey pick for Euro 2024 play-off

Aaron Ramsey was on Wednesday named in Wales’s Euro 2024 play-off squad, despite not starting a match for six months.

The 84-times capped captain suffered a knee injury in September and was out until February, making two substitute appearances for Cardiff before picking up a calf complaint.

But manager Rob Page has named the 33-year-old midfielder in a 28-man squad as Wales seek to qualify for a third successive European Championship and fourth major tournament in five.

Wales host Finland in their play-off semi-final in Cardiff on March 21, with the winners at home against Estonia or Poland five days later to determine a place in Germany.

“It’s not been ideal for Aaron, he’s had a few setbacks,” said Page. “Sometimes injuries change from the first instance. They can change overnight, there can be a difference in diagnosis.

“If there’s a chance of having him involved in the squad I’m going to take it and name him.

“The last two camps we’ve had him in and around the squad, even though he’s not been able to play a part. To have someone of his stature in and around the players is beneficial for us.”

Former captain Gareth Bale went into the 2022 World Cup with fitness issues hanging over him and struggled to make the impact in Qatar that had been expected of him.

But Page said the inclusion of former Arsenal and Juventus star Ramsey was not a gamble.

“We’ll get him on camp and assess him,” he said. “We’ve already had conversations with him. Our medical team are based in Hensol where Cardiff train — that’s the luxury we’ve had of being in the same vicinity.”

There are also recalls for Adam Davies, Charlie Savage, Dylan Levitt, Josh Low, Rabbi Matondo, Rubin Colwill and Wes Burns.

Low replaces Tom Lockyer, who played in Wales’s last Euro 2024 qualifier against Turkey in November.

Luton defender Lockyer suffered a cardiac arrest in a Premier League game at Bournemouth in December.

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