After an incredible decade, Aaron Ramsey is set to depart Arsenal next summer. The Gunners reportedly withdrew a four-year contract initially put on the table.
It was speculated that the 27-year-old was aiming to match Mesut Ozil’s new £350,000-a-week deal. There was also another report that the player himself was pondering over a mega-offer from China. At least there, he would eclipse the German’s mammoth earnings.
Whatever the case may be, the Gunners would be justified to allow the attacking midfielder to depart. It is true that the 27-year-old who joined from Cardiff in 2008 for £5m is the club’s longest-serving player, but at the moment, he seems surplus to requirements.
No doubting Ramsey’s ability, he is calm in possession, capable of making the difference offensively and defensively, he is an all-action midfielder many managers crave. His adeptness to slot anywhere in attack is an extra quality for the team.
However, a combination of reasons may be responsible for his imminent exit. The major conundrum centres on his huge demands. Having assessed the midfielder, Unai Emery may have decided that the club’s already stretched wage bill would be better spent elsewhere as he realises the limitations of splashing the cash on new talent.
Besides the squad’s central midfield appears overstocked already. Granit Xhaka, Matteo Guendouzi and Lucas Torreira are all battling it out for two spots. Emery may have decided to strengthen other areas by flogging Ramsey in January.
Further forward, the Spaniard appears to have settled for Ozil as his henchman flanked by two from Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Alex Iwobi and Henrikh Mkhitaryan. Iwobi, in particular, is enjoying some resurgence under his new manager. His great form isn’t helping Ramsey’s case for first-team football right now.
“We’ve seen him (Ramsey) in the Euros dominating when he was absolutely fantastic, we’ve seen the season (2013-14) he has with Arsenal scoring 20-plus goals and was amazing, we’ve seen he can score in big games, winning cup finals,” Ian Wright told BBC Radio 5 live.
”But in respect of a consistent performer for the season, making the difference in the league when he’s needed? When was the last time he’s done that?”
“The impact he’s made in the last few games Iwobi, coming on and he’s actually replaced Ramsey and he’s made an impact.
“Maybe [Arsenal manager] Unai Emery has seen that.”
Time will tell if Arsenal will regret not giving Ramsey a new deal.