Aaron Ramsey seems almost certain to leave Arsenal with new boss Unai Emery refusing to sanction a mega-bucks contract extension for the Wales midfielder. But former Gunners striker Alan Smith says that losing the influential playmaker, who also has a knack for scoring crucial goals, would be a real “shame’.
Ramsey. who is aged 27, had seemed destined to pen a new deal at the Emirates and extend his stay at the north London club but the offer of the extension, supposedly worth in the region of a whopping £250,000, was withdrawn. Even with the best free bets it’d be hard one to predict if he stays or goes.
The clear indication is that Emery, who replaced long-serving manager Arsene Wenger in the summer, sees his shaping of the Arsenal squad without the influence of former Cardiff City ace Ramsey, who is into the final year of his current contract.
Some Gunners fans are keen to keep hold of the player they have nicknamed “Rambo” but others say he is holding out for too much money. One way or another it seems likely the midfield maestro will depart Arsenal, either in the January transfer window or come the end of the campaign, ending a decade-long service to the club.
And Smith, who famously scored and helped the Gunners win the top-flight title with Arsenal at Liverpool on the last day of the season in 1989, said:
“I think we all hoped this kind of situation would cease to happen with head of recruitment Sven Mislintat coming and head of football Raul Sanllehi. Maybe they arrived a little too late. I don’t know.
“It’s difficult to really speak without knowing the details but maybe Mesut Ozil’s vast salary is the reason they’re not prepared to put Ramsey anywhere near it and he’s not prepared to sign.
“But then again who is going to give him that money? I don’t know. Where would he go? You would imagine his agent has already spoken to a few clubs so he’s got half an idea where he might end up.
“It would be a shame to lose him, it would be such a shame. I think, like a few players there, he can be developed into a top player. He’s pretty good as it is and he’s got this knack of scoring goals on the big stage and in important matches. It would be a blow if we lost him.”
One school of thought among keen observers is that Emery sees Ramsey as surplus to requirements because he has the services of Ozil in a similar role. It hasn’t been the most cohesive of combinations from Arsenal when the pair have both taken to the pitch for the cause so far this season, with many critics suggesting the two can’t play together.
Others are concerned that Emery is prepared to let such an obviously talented player depart. And Smith added:
“If you’re Ramsey, it’s your mission to make sure you are first choice ahead of Ozil and do everything you possibly can.
“He’s obviously going to work harder in terms of covering the ground so he offers something different to the German but I don’t think you can ever say they can’t possibly play in the same team. There’s always a way round it but maybe Ramsey feels he’s not going to be a regular choice and that’s what’s influencing his decision and it sounds like the contract offer has been withdrawn now.”