Ramsey reliant no longer: Wales’s new class are filling the void

Rob Page’s team is built around a core of young talents but beating Finland in a Euro playoff semi-final is their first big test

Listening to Rob Page last week discuss resisting the temptation to call up Lewis Koumas, the 18-year-old who scored on his Liverpool debut last month, was to ram home the sense that this really is a new era for Wales. A few minutes later, Matty Jones, the Wales Under-21s manager who played with Koumas’s father, Jason, jested about the line doing the rounds at their base in the Vale of Glamorgan. “I think it is an internal joke at the moment that I just see former teammates of mine and look if their sons are playing,” he said.

Page believes Wales are in rude health; the best place they have been in his tenure because so many players – except, worryingly, his four goalkeepers – are regularly making a dent for their clubs. But perhaps the most telling indication of the shift was when he suggested they do not need Aaron Ramsey in quite the same way they once did.

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