Aaron Ramsey
Aaron RamseyReuters

Former Arsenal star Ray Parlour believes Aaron Ramsey could be as influential as Liverpool star Steven Gerrard in time.

The 23-year-old was hugely impressive for the north London club in the first half of this season, scoring eight goals and managing six assists in 18 league appearance before getting injured.

The Welsh international last featured for Arsenal during their 3-1 away victory over West Ham United on Boxing Day. Since then, he has been on the sidelines with a thigh injury and is yet to feature in this calendar year.

However former Arsenal midfielder remains confident Ramsey can emulate the England skipper's contribution for Liverpool at the Emirates.

"Without doubt, Aaron Ramsey can become as influential as Steven Gerrard. Ramsey needs to believe in his own abilities," the Express quoted Parlour as saying.

"He is a young and exciting talent and will definitely be a top, top player in the future. He wants to learn and is blessed with the ideal attributes for a midfield player.

"Ramsey was the perfect box-to-box midfielder in the first half of the season and I always said if he could score a few more, he would be complete."

Turning to Gerrard, Parlour said: "He is absolutely world class. He isn't as effective box-to-box as he was a few years ago, but he continues to make the difference."

Arsenal are still in the race to win the title this season as they lie third in the table with 62 points from 29 games, level on points with second place Liverpool. The pair trail league leaders Chelsea by four points.

Arsene Wenger's men travel to Stamford Bridge as they face Chelsea in the next league fixture. Parlour believes the fixture against Jose Mourinho's side will be crucial for his former club.

"The match is absolutely massive for Arsenal and hopefully they will snatch a win, but a draw is a decent result also. The spirit of the team is fantastic. You cannot win anything if the players aren't pulling in the same direction.

"Wenger is brilliant with man-management. If you were out of favour, but always part of the team, he would always keep you involved and say you could change the game or even the season.

"He was very good at keeping you focused on the task. This is an important factor and his squad is very supportive of each other."