Aaron Ramsey has described a somewhat unstable situation at Arsenal with regard to his final season at the club and the contract negotiations which led him to leave the Emirates Stadium and join Juventus this summer.
At the start of last season, Ramsey is believed to have had an outline of an offer for a new contract on the table, only to see it rescinded before agreeing final terms. Of the situation, Ramsey says “there was a lot of confusion and a lot of things were up in the air” and that the Gunners are going through “a transitional period at the moment.” The decision, it seems, was taken out of his hands — quotes from the BBC:
Q: This time 12 months ago, it seemed you would be signing a new contract at Arsenal. Then it was taken away. Was it explained why?
A: Yes. It was in the end. There was a lot of confusion and a lot of things were up in the air. The decision was made and that was the situation, so I had to look at other options. Arsenal are going through a transitional period at the moment. They have many great players and a lot of talent coming through. They are definitely going in the right direction, but my situation now is at Juventus. I have an unbelievable opportunity at a massive club. I just want to be part of this now. Hopefully I can help my teammates and my club achieve some great things on the big stage.
As for settling himself at a new club in a new country, Ramsey says that learning to speak Italian is a “massively important” part of acclimating to his new environment and realizing success at Juve:
“Yes, of course. It is massively important. All the team meetings are in Italian; the majority of the players speak Italian. But it’s not just for football reasons. When you go to a restaurant or fill up your car, some people don’t speak English. It’s important to speak their language and really commit to putting yourself into their culture and to understand it.
“It might take me a bit of time — I have picked up a few swear words on the training ground — but I am learning and hopefully I will be able to speak it one day.”
Ramsey missed the first three weeks of the season due to a hamstring injury, but has since returned to the team and made five appearances in recent weeks. He marked his debut for the club with a goal against Verona on Sept. 21.