A deal to extend Aaron Ramsey’s stay at Arsenal could easily turn out to be the most significant of new Gunners manager Unai Emery’s reign at Arsenal — for the time being anyway.
Ramsey has grown massively as a midfielder — boasting craft, guile and end product in the shape of goals — and has generally been a bedrock of all things positive during his time at the club since he signed from Cardiff City in 2008.
And as the Wales ace enters the final year of his current contract at the Emirates Stadium, it has emerged that there is a five-year extension on his previous deal just waiting for a pen to be put to paper. Fans will hope this can be something that happens sooner rather than later with suitors said to be lining up to snare Ramsey should he decided to consider his options.
Arsenal, as we know, are gearing up for the new campaign without Arsene Wenger as the coach following his departure from the club having served 22 years in the hotseat. Emery, 46, was handed the job after quitting French outfit Paris Saint Germain following the capture of the Ligue 1 crown last term.
Now the new deal sanctioned by Emery — although ready to impose new, more exacting disciplines on his charges – suggests that he isn’t ready to rock the boat where Ramsey is concerned and there is talk of the Spaniard building his team around the indefatigable schemer.
The early indications from Ramsey, who is still only 27, is that the offer is one which will be met with a great deal of enthusiasm on his part. Well, that is the conclusion reading between the lines on his latest comments regards the situation concerning his future.
Ramsey, speaking after he helped Wales to a 0-0 draw with Mexico in Pasadena (remember that the Welsh missed out on qualification for this summer’s FIFA World Cup), said: “I haven’t spoken to Emery at all yet, but I think it’s an exciting time for the club and I can’t wait to get back there now.” It’s not exactly a ringing endorsement from the midfield maestro but his understated enthusiasm offers an indication that a new offer will be acceptable.
Another player likely to be offered a new deal to stay in north London is Jack Wilshere, who was so unlucky to miss out on being selected for England for the FIFA World Cup by Three Lions head coach Gareth Southgate.
Reports suggest the injury-prone playmaker will be offered a new deal which is based on performance-related earnings rather than a huge hike in his current wages.
Meanwhile, disorganised defending has been blamed for Arsenal’s failure to secure Champions League football last season and Emery is said to have identified a potential solution for that susceptibility at the back; a frailty that contributed to the Gunners only managing to finish sixth in the Premier League table and qualify for the Europa League.
Emery is said to have pinpointed Borussia Dortmund central defender Sokratis Papastathopoulos as the type of commanding, focused rearguard operative who can help to sure up what has been a porous backline.
Arsenal fans will be watching that and other moves as the summer unfolds.