Emery should keep Rambo and axe Ozil, says Arsenal legend


If ever a player chose 45 minutes to demonstrate exactly how influential he can be on a football pitch then Aaron Ramsey’s second-half display in Arsenal’s 4-2 demolition of Tottenham Hotspur was it. Sub Ramsey’s sensational performance in the Premier League victory at the Emirates means he will probably start when the Gunners go to Manchester United on Wednesday.

Indeed, such was the level of Ramsey’s display, one former Arsenal midfielder, Ray Parlour, has called for Emery to backtrack on his decision to allow the Welshman to leave the north London outfit when his contract runs out in the summer. It has been widely publicised that the Gunners will allow Rambo, as he is affectionally known by the Arsenal supporters, to walk away on a free transfer, given that his wage demands are over what the club feel he is worth.

If he can maintain the high-tempo display he delivered against Spurs, the former Cardiff City ace will have little trouble finding a club willing to recruit him and pay him what he feels he is worth. Not only does Parlour, who won a clutch of silverware at the club during an illustrious playing career, believe Ramsey should be kept, he reckons that Mesut Ozil should be let go instead.

German playmaker Ozil, brought in from Real Madrid in 2013, was missing from the North London Derby win with what has been described as a back-spasm injury but there is speculation in certain quarters that there is some division between player and manager.

And Parlour said:

“My personal decision would be that I’d rather keep Ramsey than Ozil. I think Aaron brings a little bit more to the team. Mesut Ozil is a great player, I’m not doubting that, but you can leave him out.

“We didn’t miss him against Spurs, whereas I thought Ramsey made an impact in the second half. Aaron has been there a long time, he’s been there for 10 years, so you’ve got to look at that as well. Some players would sulk and say, ‘I’m leaving at the end of the season, so it doesn’t really matter’, but his attitude has been spot-on. He knows he’s leaving at the end of the season, but he was brilliant. I would rather have Aaron Ramsey.”

Meanwhile, Arsenal hero Ian Wright believes Ramsey should be given the remuneration he seeks and has questioned Ozil’s contribution as well as that of Henrikh Mkhitaryan.

He said:

“As good as Mkhitaryan and Ozil are, in respect to what they’re earning we’re talking about £500,000-a-week. I do not believe that Arsenal can afford to be paying that sort of money without getting a return, especially when you look at what they’re trying to do at the moment.

“You’re going to lose Ramsey as well who probably wants £200,000 so we’re going up to £700,000-a-week in money that we’re going to have to give. Surely you’ve got to find three or four players that you can pay a lot of money to that will give you the output you want.”