Joe Ledley: Crystal Palace midfielder key for Wales - Ratcliffe

Joe Ledley
Joe Ledley joined Crystal Palace from Celtic during the January transfer window
Euro 2016 qualifying: Wales v Bosnia-Hercegovina
Venue: Cardiff City Stadium Date Friday, 10 October Kick-off 19:45 BST
Coverage: Live commentary on BBC Radio Wales, Radio Cymru & online

Former captain Kevin Ratcliffe says midfielder Joe Ledley will have to step up to the mark in Wales' forthcoming Euro 2016 qualifiers.

Arsenal's Aaron Ramsey and Joe Allen of Liverpool are out of October's home qualifiers against Bosnia-Hercegovina and Cyprus in Cardiff.

Manager Chris Coleman names his squad on Wednesday and Ratcliffe says Crystal Palace's Ledley will be a key player.

"I think there's a big onus now going to be on Joe Ledley," he said.

"Joe Ledley's a must in there because he's going to be the experience and he's a busy player.

"Someone like Joe you've got to keep them involved in the thick of things and the thick of things in international football is in the midfield area."

Aaron Ramsey
Aaron Ramsey will miss Wales' qualifiers against Bosnia-Hercegovina and Cyprus because of a hamstring problem

Former Cardiff City and Celtic player Ledley, 27, has won 52 caps since making his debut in 2005 and has started three Premier League games for Palace this season.

Wales have back-to-back home games against Bosnia-Hercegovina on Friday, 10 October and Cyprus three days later.

Allen, 24, has not played for Liverpool since suffering a knee injury in Wales' 2-1 win in Andorra on 9 September.

Since then it is believed the former Swansea City player has had a double hernia operation which means he is likely to miss October's double header.

Aaron Ramsey has also been ruled out because of a hamstring injury he suffered in Arsenal's 1-1 draw against Spurs and is expected to be out for up to a month.

Nottingham Forest's David Vaughan is also a doubt after suffering a hamstring injury against Tottenham Hostpur in the Capital One Cup.

Vaughan missed Forest's 0-0 draw against Wigan Athletic for whom Emyr Huws played 90 minutes.

Jonathan Williams hopes to be fit by the weekend despite suffering a groin injury in his first appearance since rejoining Ipswich on loan.

Williams came on as substitute and scored against Sheffield Wednesday in his first game since his loan move from Crystal Palace.

Ratcliffe, who won 59 caps between 1981 and 1993, says the absence of key midfielders Allen and Ramsey will hit Wales hard.

"It's a massive blow and it always seems to happen to us at the wrong time," Ratcliffe said.

"It's going to be tough because there's two class players missing in the midfield area.

"It's two out of the three midfielders gone missing - one the creative midfielder and the other picking up bits and pieces around him.

"He does make it tick does Joe Allen in midfield and he's that cog in that wheel.

"We've never had someone like Aaron Ramsey in midfield, not from the time I can remember."

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