Aaron Ramsey

Did Aaron Ramsey play his last game for Arsenal?

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Aaron Ramsey‘s decade-long run at Arsenal could be over prematurely.

The 28-year-old Welsh midfielder limped off in the first half with what appeared to be a hamstring injury, and depending on the severity, it could rule him out for the rest of Arsenal’s campaign. Even minor hamstring strains mean at least a three-week layoff, which will certainly keep Ramsey out of Arsenal’s UEFA Europa League semifinal tie against Valencia.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

“He was in a very good moment, he was playing with a big behaviour and commitment to do something important for us,” Arsenal manager Unai Emery said of Ramsey after Arsenal’s 1-0 win over Napoli. “His injury today can give us some matches without him. I don’t know if we’ll see him again before the end of the season.”

Arsenal has less than a month of matches remaining, with the final Premier League match of the season set for May 12 at Burnley, putting Ramsey in a race against time to be fit. If the injury isn’t so severe and Arsenal can manage to defeat Valencia, Ramsey could return in time for the Europa League final on May 29.

If this spells the end of Ramsey’s time at Arsenal – he’s signed a pre-contract to join Juventus this summer – it ends an era which stretches back to some of Arsene Wenger‘s best Arsenal sides in the late-2000s.

Whether for financial reasons – signing teenagers and grooming them is cheap compared to purchasing the transfer rights of established players – or not, Aaron Ramsey joined Arsenal at a time when Wenger was focused on a team-wide youth movement. In Ramsey’s first Premier League start, a late-season 3-0 win at Portsmouth, he started alongside the likes of Niklas Bendtner, Carlos Vela, Denilson, Johan Djourou, and Theo Walcott, who were all 21-or-younger at the time. Ramsey himself was just 18-years-old.

However, in the coming years, he struggled to find a set position. He didn’t develop into a goal-scoring machine like Cesc Fabregas did a few years earlier as a No. 10, leaving Wenger to try him as a right winger, which brought more up and down performances. When trying him as a No. 6 or part of a double-pivot, Ramsey also struggled not always knowing when to attack and when to sit back and defend.

There were plenty of great moments too mixed in. Playing further up as an eight or an attacking midfielder, Ramsey scored 10 Premier League goals during the 2013/2014 season. This year, he’s turned into a wily veteran who can adequately play as a second striker or holding midfielder depending on the situation. He’s scored key goals this year against Tottenham and Napoli, while also providing plenty of assists and midfield cover as Arsenal begins to focus on a new youth movement, with Ramsey ultimately being pushed out in favor of the next Ramsey, as another Matteo Guendouzi and Lucas Torreira will likely coming in this summer.

Aaron Ramsey may have never developed into a world beater during his time at Arsenal, but he finishes his time in London with three FA Cups and two Community Shield trophies. Now, moving to Juventus still in his prime, it’s his chance to prove that he’s more than just the hustle and bustle of the Premier League, and that he can succeed not only in a foreign environment, but also in a new league.

At the Half: Ramsey, Torreira help give Arsenal early lead, Chelsea still scoreless

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Arsenal started Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Alexandre Lacazette and Mesut Ozil together for one of the few times all season.

So of course, Arsenal’s two central midfielders have found the scoresheet so far.

At halftime, Arsenal holds an impressive 2-0 lead over Napoli at the Emirates Stadium on Thursday evening, with Aaron Ramsey and Lucas Torreira both finding the back of the net. Ramsey scored in the 14th minute off a great pass in the box from Ainsley Maitland-Niles while Torreira created his own goal almost out of nothing.

Torreira forced a turnover at midfield and then ran at Napoli’s defense before switching the ball to his left foot and unleashing a low strike. The shot deflected off Napoli star centerback Kalidou Koulibaly and wrong-footed goalkeeper Alex Meret for a goal. The goal has been listed as an own goal, but it may have been on target before the deflection.

In the Czech Republic, Chelsea is holding strong to a scoreless tie with Slavia Prague.

Here’s a look at Arsenal’s two first half goals.

Emery raves about Ozil, Ramsey as Arsenal goes 3rd

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Unai Emery has answered a lot of off-the-field questions about Mesut Ozil and Aaron Ramsey this year, so we imagine he loved talking about the two for their on-field exploits.

Ozil has struggled to stay in Emery’s side despite his big paycheck, and Ramsey would not sign a new deal with Arsenal and is headed to Juventus on a mega watt deal of his own.

[ RECAP: Arsenal 2-0 Newcastle ]

Asked about two star players from Arsenal’s 2-0 defeat of Newcastle on Monday, a win which pushed the Gunners ahead of rivals Tottenham Hotspur, Emery was happy to gush about both. From the BBC:

“We were improving little by little and our first goal helped us a lot. Mesut Ozil has quality, when he can find the best performance for the team, he is playing like we want with the system and how tactically we want. He is giving us his quality.

“I think Aaron Ramsey is happy, he is helping us and is playing with a very good performance and scoring. Each energy from the players is very important for us and he is doing that. We are at the most important moment of the season.”

So what’s next? Emery is careful not to aim too high considering the congested schedule for all Top Four challengers, and the immense skill on display at each club.

“We are making progess in the table but we know it is difficult, Tottenham, Chelsea and Manchester United are going to win a lot of games.”

Arsenal beats Newcastle, moves 3rd (video)

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  • Ramsey sees goal pulled back
  • Then bags left-footer off post
  • Arsenal moves third with 63 points
  • Newcastle seven clear of drop zone

Aaron Ramsey‘s first half goal was all Arsenal needed in a tight 2-0 defeat of Newcastle United at the Emirates Stadium on Monday.

The win boosts Arsenal into third place in the Premier League, while Newcastle is 14th.

The Gunners visit Everton on Saturday when Newcastle hosts Crystal Palace.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Ramsey looked to have put Arsenal ahead off a 13th minute corner kick, but Anthony Taylor spied Sokratis’ hold of Florian Lejeune and the goal did not stand.

Ramsey flicked a ball to send Alexandre Lacazette into the box, and a bobbling ball ended up back in the Welshman’s range for a shot off the far post and into the goal for 1-0 in the 30th minute.

Matt Ritchie made a terrific goal line stop when a free-flowing move from Arsenal saw Alexandre Lacazette spin to lash a shot on goal in the first minute of first half stoppage.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

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Arsenal yelled for a penalty kick when Lacazette’s end line cross attempt hit a sliding Paul Dummett‘s arm, but only a corner arrived for the Gunners.

Newcastle keeper dove forward to foil a cross from substitute Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to strike partner Lacazette in the 68th.

Ki Sung-Yueng sent an arrow over the Arsenal goal shortly before the Gunners found their second through the typically clinical Lacazette.

Confusion over Ramsey’s reported wages at Juve

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Aaron Ramsey signed a pre-contract agreement with Italian giants Juventus on Monday and it was reported by the BBC that the Welsh midfielder had become the highest-paid British player in history, earning over $515,000 per week.

It is now being reported that Ramsey will not be earning close to that amount, as Italian outlets say that his salary is close to $8.4 million per season gross, which works out at about $161,000 per week after tax.

Still, not a bad deal at all for Ramsey but it does suggest that Arsenal could have stretched themselves a little further to keep him around at the Emirates Stadium.

The fact that Juve have briefed several media outlets as to the actual wages they will be paying shows they felt the need to correct the astronomical numbers being chucked around when it come to Ramsey, but it is unknown if he is also receiving a hefty signing-on fee as a free agent.

Juventus have got themselves a talented central midfielder in the prime of his career at the age of 28, and if they’re paying him $8.4 million a season with no transfer or signing-on fee, that is a bit of a bargain in the modern game.