Ramsey has recently said that he will stay for the season’s remainder.
He confirmed that the club has retracted a contract offer, but he intends to work hard and knuckle down.
The situation is a peculiar one, and possibly there is no little way back for Ramsey at Arsenal now.
The club has retracted a contract offer, which Ramsey supposedly was willing to sign.
The reasons for this retraction are unknown. However, we can speculate and cite:
- Financial reasons – Maybe the club wishes to reduce its wage bill.
- Tactical reasons – Maybe a new tactical direction is required, and Ramsey doesn’t fit this bill.
- A falling out? It’s possible, though there are many things happening in clubs that are not publicly aired.
Either way, the club had a firm reason – one would assume – for rescinded the contract offer.
This said as Ramsey looks like heading out of Arsenal now, what can Arsenal do to plug the hole?
Or is there even a hole that needs plugging?
Can Arsenal live without Ramsey, and does a new profile of midfielder need to be brought in?
If it is a new midfield direction being sought, then what could be it be, and how could it function?
Aaron Ramsey has been a noted player for Arsenal in several ways. He was signed from Cardiff City in 2008, sustained a horrendous injury at Stoke City in 2010, but recovered to regain his Arsenal place. He perhaps most notably scored the winners in two FA Cup Finals in 2014 and 2017, against Hull City and Chelsea respectively. The former ended Arsenal’s long trophy drought, ironically commencing with the FA Cup win vs. Manchester United in 2005.
Ramsey’s departure in itself would signify an end of an era, in several ways. Ramsey was one of the major Wenger-bought “wonderkids” who did achieve at least regular first-team status, and in fairness be a well-regarded player in the footballing world.
But it could be a new beginning to boot. And the new beginning can be cemented via the addition of new players to reinforce a novel tactical direction.
Seri – Fulham
This may be a bit fanciful. But then part of the reason we’ve been overrun in midfield is the poor midfield balance in later seasons. Playing Xhaka and Ramsey together means there are two progressive-minded players present. So gaps would emerge. Moreover, they are not very tenacious, and thus not adept at winning the ball when needed.
Seri, in addition to Torreira or Guendouzi, would bring back this balance, and help us progress and hopefully concede fewer goals.
Our hand would be strengthened here if Fulham goes down. Even if they survive, they may not be able to keep him, especially if a bigger club comes in for him.
Loftus-Cheek – Chelsea
As a box to box player who has performed well for England, I can see this as a strong boon. However, Chelsea may not be willing to let him go. And considering Abramovich is not as keen to spend the big bucks as much before, they may be looking to integrate younger players.
Nonetheless, Loftus-Cheek’s game is similar to that of Maitland-Niles’s, and both could be adept in a functional Arsenal midfield.
Yes, we already have him, and I for one am grateful we do.
However, midfield is perhaps his best position, as opposed to wing-back or full-back, even though he can play there well. With him in midfield, he can best improve our midfield balance, and ensure we don’t get overrun. With an extended run in the team, I’m confident Ainsley can get into the England squad, and be a contender and starter for England in Euro 2020 and beyond.
Ander Herrera – Manchester United
Maybe a little left-field, but he is in a similar mold to Maitland-Niles and Loftus-Cheek, in that he is a box to box player bringing energy and link play.
He’s not getting much of a look-in at United currently, but he is a player who has featured for the Spanish national team, and under his compatriot, Emery could prosper at Arsenal. A negative here is that he is 30, but this is no big deal per se. He could bring experience, and would evidently know the Premier League. There are also many Spanish speakers in the team currently, from the manager of course to Torreira, Monreal, Bellerin, etc. who can aid his settling in. He can even reference Alexis’s counsel, since whilst he wanted to leave us, this was more for the lack of hunger in the Wenger side, more so than a dislike of Arsenal as a club.
These are just a few players who could fill the void should Ramsey leave.
Is there a way back for Ramsey now? Personally, I believe it’s done.
The club has retracted the deal, and Ramsey was willing to sign. We cannot then say Ramsey was holding out, or “holding the club to ransom”.
However, if we re-offered the deal, then Ramsey would think twice about this, and not trust the club. And who would in his place?
It seems, for me at the least, that the bridge has been burnt and that now only its ashes remain.
I like Ramsey, but let his ending at the club be a new beginning.
Even if he joins another PL club, I won’t have any ill-feeling towards him.