Arsenal have done some really smart business in the transfer window so far, as they look to make a quick start to life after Arsene Wenger. The club was clinical in bringing in Unai Emery to replace the Frenchman, and have shored up the defence by signing goalkeeper Bernd Leno, right-back Stephan Lichtsteiner and centre-back Sokratis Papastathopoulos.
The midfield, however, is a little bit of a concern still, despite bringing in some grit and tenacity in the form of Lucas Torreira. Arsenal have been linked with Steven N’Zonzi, the Sevilla man who is fresh from winning the World Cup with France in Russia. However, if this is move to replace Aaron Ramsey, it may not be the best one.
Ramsey is Arsenal’s long-serving player in the current squad. The Welshman has made over 300 appearances in all competitions since joining from Cardiff City in 2008, scoring over 50 goals in the process. Still only 27, Ramsey only has one year left on his deal at the Emirates, and no deal has been finalized between the two parties over an extension. If the club cannot convince their prized asset to stay, selling him this summer could be the best option, rather than losing him for free next year.
A box-to-box midfielder who is full of running and energy, Ramsey is the engine of this Arsenal side. Granit Xhaka hasn’t really performed on a consistent basis, and the two-man pivot that The Gunners played under Wenger was vulnerable on several occasions. This was observed especially against the bigger sides and in Europe, in games where the players needed to get stuck in and grind out results. Ramsey excelled in these roles more often than not, but was left without a partner.
He is an adept tackler, reads the game well and also has a keen eye for goal. Despite playing only 30 games last season, he managed a return of 11 goals, making him the club’s second-highest goalscorer in all competitions. He can find the back of the net every now and then with late runs into the box, reminiscent of the movement displayed by Frank Lampard and Steven Gerrard in their primes. He hasn’t yet done it on a consistent basis, but there has always been an injury around the corner to hamper his momentum.
It was reported by Sky Sports that Emery is very happy with what he’s seen of Ramsey so far, and wants him to be an important player in his team next season. It remains to be seen whether Arsenal can match his demands in the three weeks left in the transfer window.
“I’m very happy with him,” Emery said. “Every day every training session he is with the ambition I want. He is working with quality. I want to work with him.”
“This (signing a new contract) is one question for the player, the club, but my opinion – I said to them – I think he is one important player for me.”
From Arsenal’s perspective, it is imperative that they hold on to Ramsey. They are in phase of rebuilding and keeping their star names is as important as bringing in new talents.
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