Sport

Aaron Ramsey looks at the exit door

Despite winning Arsenal’s player of the Season, why has Aaron Ramsey got eyes for the exit?

By Christian Moore

Since he was swiped from underneath Sir Alex Ferguson’s nose in a 2008 transfer from Cardiff City, Aaron Ramsey has proven himself to be a key player and fan favourite at Arsenal Football Club.

Under previous manager Arsène Wenger, Ramsey grew into a predominantly box-to-box midfielder becoming an integral cog within the works due to his attacking vigour and engine- like qualities, especially during an arduous 2017/18 season.

However, with the appointment of Unai Emery, as their first new manager in 22 years, it is looking increasingly likely that Ramsey has entered his final season for Arsenal, and perhaps in the Premier League all together.

As football agent’s grip of power becomes ever more prevalent around the footballing world, it appears as though the theme of higher wages has reared its ugly head once again. As Arsenal’s wage spend reaches its highest point in history it is not unlikely that Ramsey and his representatives, Avid Sports & Entertainment Group, were driving for a significant wage increase to a reported £250,000 a week.

It is unfair to suggest the Welsh international does not deserve an increase due to his modest wage in comparison to his loyalty to the club. However, Arsenal unexpectedly withdrew the contract offer to the upset of Ramsey who mentioned that a deal was nearly agreed but that is now no longer the case.

With Emery introducing a new generation of football at Arsenal, it is unsurprising that he has given financial priority to recent acquisitions of younger players such as Matteo Guendouzi and Lucas Torreira in addition to further future signings that are more suited to his philosophy of football.

Considering the preferred formation of 4-2-3-1 under Emery, the increased prioritisation of Mesut Özil fitting into the No.10 role is more beneficial to the team than Ramsey. Due to Özil’s playmaker attributes and unrivalled technical ability aiding the front three, especially when considering the pace they possess.

Additionally, a lack of fluidity does not allow Ramsey to break through to the forwards as Wenger had considered during previous seasons. With the emergence of Alex Iwobi and Granit Xhaka both having strong starts to the season, it is difficult to see how the Welsh international will fit into the starting side.

Many Arsenal fans will view the news as a blow to Wenger’s generation of homegrown players with the likes of Jack Wilshere also departing over summer, however, most will agree that it is a harsh necessity to pave the way for the future. Whilst arguably not quite becoming an Arsenal legend, the midfielder will be remembered for his two FA Cup winning goals and his loyalty to the club, spanning 11 years. It is expected that Ramsey will stay for the remainder of his contract until the summer, with speculation heavily linking him with a move abroad.

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