Getty Images

Report: Bayern confident in signing Arsenal’s Ramsey

Leave a comment

For the second season in a row, Bayern Munich are confident it can sign an international-caliber midfielder on a free transfer.

The Indepedent in England reports that Bayern believes it has made a breakthrough in contract talks for Arsenal’s Aaron Ramsey, who’s contract expires in June 2019. Ramsey would follow in the footsteps of Leon Goretzka, who let his contract run out at Schalke in controversial fashion before heading south to Munich.

Ramsey and Arsenal were reportedly engaged in contract discussions earlier this season before talks broke dawn, leading Ramsey to say he was happy to see out his contract and move on.

The Welsh international has been at Arsenal for a decade after joining the club from Cardiff City as a 16-year-old. He’s put in strong performances over the years but has failed to truly find a position for himself, rotating between a winger, double-pivot holding midfielder and second striker.

With Bayern struggling so much in the Bundesliga, perhaps the club, or another in the Premier League, could make a bid to sign Ramsey in January to add some more talent to their squads.

Emery still searching for improvement after Arsenal win

Getty Images
Leave a comment

Arsenal won its 10th match in a row across all competitions with a 3-1 victory over Leicester City, with Mesut Ozil playing the starring role.

Still, Unai Emery isn’t fully pleased with the performance.

[ WATCH: Ozil sets up 2 beautiful goals in Arsenal win over Leicester City ]

Arsenal fell behind 1-0 thanks to a Hector Bellerin own-goal, and the Gunners boss is concerned about his assessment of the 90 minute performance. “Different halves, every match is difficult,” Emery said after the match. “First half we didn’t control the match with possession and positioning.”

Ben Chillwell got behind Bellerin and sent in a cross to the middle of the box, to which goalkeeper Bernd Leno reacted, but the cross clipped off Bellerin’s foot and past the wrong-footed goalkeeper. Arsenal responded with a 3-goal wave, as Ozil scored the first and set the next two up in brilliant fashion.

“We are happy because we are progressing. We need to play with organization but also with heart. We are beginning to play with heart. When you continue to improve your demands are very high. We need to control the matches more than we are doing now.”

The win pushed the Gunners to fourth in the Premier League table, above rivals Tottenham on goal differential. Emery said in order to have success long-term and maintain their Champions League positioning, the players need to be flexible.

“First half we didn’t play well but then we played with quality and heart. This feeling together is very good. We need the number 10 position sometimes with Mesut Ozil and sometimes with Aaron Ramsey. We can’t play with both sometimes. Last match was away and we played it with two strikers. Today Mesut was very good but I believe in every player and different positions for the players.”

Arsenal 3-1 Leicester City: Ozil conjures magic in Gunners victory

Leave a comment

They say Mesut Ozil is one of the best players in the Premier League, when he wants to be. He wanted to be on Monday afternoon.

The Gunners captain scored the opener, and he truly shone while orchestrating two of the most brilliantly constructed goals of the Premier League season to help Arsenal shake off an early Hector Bellerin own-goal to earn a 3-1 victory at the Emirates.

Leicester City attacked well from the onset and would go ahead just seconds past the half-hour mark as they push down the left. Ben Chilwell burst down the flank past Alexandre Lacazette and behind Hector Bellerin just enough that as Bellerin hoped to recover, Chilwell’s cross clipped Bellerin’s foot and into the back of the net, with goalkeeper Bernd Leno already diving the wrong way to stop the cross.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Arsenal surged into the asencency after falling behind, and nearly found an equalizer shortly after. A long ball was just out of reach for a streaking Alex Iwobi behind the defensive line, Granit Xhaka came close on a long-range free-kick, Aaron Ramsey whiffed on a free header at the near post on a corner, and Iwobi’s effort from the right was saved by Kasper Schmeichel.

Eventually, the pressure would prove fruitful and the Gunners would equalize just before the break. As the Gunners looked to build out of the back, Mesut Ozil charged through the midfield on the ball, and after spraying it right to Bellerin, he got the ball right back in front of net and had plenty of space for a one-touch finish on the run.
[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

After the break, Arsenal had a big chance as Lacazette’s shot pinged around and fell to Henrikh Mkhitaryan whose scissor kick swerved across the face of goal and just wide of the left post. Still, Leicester proved pesky and nearly put themselves back in front in the 58th minute as Wilfred Ndidi headed a corner straight into the crossbar.

That would prove costly, as Arsenal took advantage minutes later. With the Gunners on the ball in the attacking third, Ozil threaded an absolutely delicious through-ball for Bellerin that completely unlocked the Leicester City back line, and the Spaniard simply tapped across to substitute Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang for the goal.

The Gunners would do even better three minutes later on one of the prettiest goals we’ve seen this Premier League season. Bellerin sent the ball into the mixer with Ozil waiting at the top of the box. The German international let the ball go through his legs, dummying to Lacazette who touched right back to Ozil on the run past the Leicester City back line. With Arsenal now through, Ozil produced a delicious chip over a charging Schmeichel to Aubameyang waiting to finish a simple tap-in for his second goal of the evening.

Arsenal probably should have had a fourth, but Lacazette’s look on the doorstep was smothered well by Schmeichel. That was the last serious action of the game, as the Gunners cruised to victory.

[ MORE: Premier League stats ]

The win pushed Arsenal up to fourth in the Premier League table, even on 21 points with Tottenham and Chelsea, and ahead of their West London rivals on goal differential. Leicester City, meanwhile, remained stuck in 11th on 12 points for the season.

Wilshere warns Arsenal not to lose “future captain” Ramsey

Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images
Leave a comment

West Ham United man Jack Wilshere knows a thing or two about working out contracts with Arsenal, and has issued a stern warning to the Gunners when it comes to Aaron Ramsey.

Wilshere says Ramsey should be a “future captain” for Unai Emery, and that allowing the Welsh player to leave — for free, no less — is a head-scratcher.

[ MORE: Spurs injury update ]

Given the players’ long-term friendship, it’s fair to say Wilshere knows his stuff when he intimates that Ramsey would appreciate more time in North London, and he poses this question.

From The Islington Gazette:

“I think you’ve got to look at the situation and ask: ‘How many top teams in the Premier League and elsewhere could he get in?’ And you’d have to say them all – and that speaks volumes about the type of player he is.”

This is pretty true, aside from Man City. And you’d have to give Ramsey a shot of making his presence felt there as well.

Emery is trying to forge a new identity for Arsenal, and Ramsey’s had his fair share of injury issues, but allowing Ramsey to walk does seem a bit silly.

Ramsey prepared to see out Arsenal contract

Getty Images
Leave a comment

Aaron Ramsey appears ready to play the rest of the season at Arsenal, with or without a contract extension on the table.

In an interview with journalists, Ramsey discussed how he thought there had been an agreement on a new contract, only for Arsenal to reveal through the press that it was pulling the offer from the table, balking at Ramsey’s high wage demands. To make matters worse for Arsenal, the club appears set to lose Ramsey for free or for a cut-rate fee this January, though Ramsey said he wasn’t interested in leaving halfway through the season.

“Would I stay for the rest of the season? Of course, yeah,” Ramsey said. “I am contracted to Arsenal and I am going to do my best now this season to try and achieve something special.

“Everything has been going great with the club – we thought we were in a position where we had agreed a deal but that’s no longer the case,” Ramsey said. “So I just have to carry on playing my football and do my best for Arsenal this season and I’ll leave the rest with the club now. Am I disappointed? That’s a decision that they have made and things happen in football and you just have to get on with it and carry on playing the best I can. That’s all I am concentrating on and giving my best for Arsenal.”

If Ramsey and Arsenal don’t return to the negotiating table, it will be the second-consecutive season in which a star player has left the club in somewhat embarrassing circumstances for the team. Alexis Sanchez’s contract impasse and overall mood at Arsenal forced his exit, eventually moving to Manchester United over more-rumored Manchester City.

Ramsey has been at Arsenal for a decade since joining from Cardiff City as a teenager, but based on his performances and the rising tide of the market, it’s probably fair that he deserves a raise. If he’s not going to get it at Arsenal, and he can avoid a transfer fee, that’s the best case scenario for him to get one massive European payout.