Aaron Ramsey‘s time at the Emirates Stadium may be coming to an end.
According to multiple reports in England, Arsenal has withdrawn a contract offer to Ramsey, after the Welsh international midfielder requested a contract similar to the one given to Mesut Ozil, which nets him around $23 million per season. Ramsey’s current contract ends in June 2019, meaning that he could leave Arsenal for a cut-rate fee this January or leave for nothing at the end of the current campaign.
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With more than 300 games in the red and white kit, Ramsey is Arsenal through and through, having joined 10 years ago as a teenager from Cardiff City. In that time, he’s had his ups and downs but when healthy, he’s gone on to become an absolute fixture in the side between Arsene Wenger and now Unai Emery‘s management. Ramsey was initially played as an attacking midfielder, a right-sided attacker and then eventually in his current role as a central midfielder or part of a double-pivot. In addition to shining at Arsenal, he’s earned more than 50 caps for Wales, leading his nation to the Euro 2016 semifinals.
Now, what does this mean for all involved? For Ramsey, after so long with one club, now may be his best shot at getting one last big contract within Europe’s upper echelon of leagues. At just 27-years old, Ramsey still can command a decent transfer fee and a good salary, though probably not the same that Ozil commands, thanks in part to Ozil’s starring roles in the past for the German National Team and Real Madrid. That being said, Ramsey could take his game to another level moving to Serie A or Spain, should he leave the Premier League.
On the other side, it may not be a massive loss for Arsenal too. Unai Emery clearly signed players such as Lucas Torreira and Matteo Guendouzi for a reason, and with Granit Xhaka possibly on his way out next summer as well, it could open up the chance for the two youngsters to move into the double-pivot role on a permanent basis. Torreira and Guendouzi will certainly learn a lot from Ramsey this season and while his departure would hurt, perhaps over time the Uruguayan or Frenchman can get to his level. Plus, Torreira especially is more adept defensively, something that Arsenal – and Ramsey – has notoriously struggled at for so long in massive games and derbies.
Ramsey will go down as one of Arsenal’s best midfielders in the club’s history, though never reaching the level of legends such as Patrick Vieira or Robert Pires from the “Invincibles” era.