Arsenal's Aaron Ramsey best suited in middle - Robbie Savage

Aaron Ramsey needs to play centrally if he is to re-discover his best form for Arsenal and Wales, according to Robbie Savage.

Ramsey has made just three Premier League starts for the Gunners this season, having been sidelined for two months with a hamstring injury picked up in the 4-3 defeat to Liverpool on the opening day, and is still working his way back to peak physical condition.

But even when not battling persistent injuries in recent years, Ramsey has struggled to hold down a place in the middle of Arsenal's midfield, instead deployed in wide areas by Arsene Wenger to make room for the likes of Mesut Ozil, Santi Cazorla, Francis Coquelin, Granit Xhaka and Mohamed Elneny.

Former Wales international midfielder and BT Sport pundit Savage, who witnessed Ramsey produce a series of outstanding performances alongside Joe Allen at Euro 2016 as the side reached the semifinals, believes Arsenal need to show greater faith in the 26-year-old if he is to fulfill his potential for club and country.

"His Euros were brilliant, he was instrumental and magnificent in his form for Arsenal [last season]," Savage told ESPN FC of Ramsey. "He's had a few injury problems and sometimes he gets stuck out wide for Arsenal. You've got to play him in the middle of the park.

"That's where you get the best out of Aaron Ramsey, whether it's as a No. 10 or one of the two holding players. It's a big year for him. I think he's a wonderful talent and he's got a partnership with Joe Allen, who has been great for Stoke.

"If Ramsey can play regularly for Arsenal that can only benefit Wales, as it showed in the Euros."

Another midfielder struggling for opportunities at Arsenal, Jack Wilshere made the bold decision to join Bournemouth on loan last summer and has kick-started his career by becoming a key contributor at the Vitality Stadium, but Savage does not believe Ramsey should take the same path.

"It's not been a mistake for Wilshere, because he's played a run of games for Bournemouth and been brilliant," he said. "The baffling thing about that is I can't understand why he didn't just go there for six months, because if Wilshere went back to Arsenal now he'd probably be playing.

"I don't think Arsenal would loan Ramsey out -- I just think he'll try and fight for his place to get back into the side."

Ramsey's return to form and fitness would bring an even greater benefit to Wales, who have made a sluggish start to World Cup qualification after last summer's Euro 2016 heroics, opening with three draws from four matches.

"We can see what Martin O'Neill has done with the Republic of Ireland and with Serbia [going well], I think it's going to be very difficult for Wales to qualify," Savage said. "Hopefully Gareth Bale will be back for the next batch of games but it's going to be difficult for Chris Coleman.

"I can't see them winning the group now, so I think they've got to get second place. The two games against the Republic of Ireland are going to be huge. If you're asking me whether Wales are going to qualify, obviously my heart says yes but I just think the draw against Georgia might cost them."

Wales' qualification hopes will receive a welcome boost when the 2026 World Cup comes around, with FIFA this week agreeing to expand the competition to 48 teams, consisting of 16 groups and a proposal for penalty shootouts to decide group matches that end in a draw. And Savage believes the changes are a positive.

"I'm looking from player's point of view, and in terms of the teams who have never qualified for a World Cup or not for a number of years, and for countries like Wales it can only make things better," he insisted. "More teams means more chance of qualifying.

"The format, with 16 groups of three and penalty shootouts [to settle draws] will be exciting. People can say what they want about whether it's for money, but from a player's perspective and for the smaller countries who haven't qualified for World Cups for a long time, I think it's great."