It’s been an inauspicious start to life under Unai Emery this season, with Arsenal losing their opening two Premier League games under the Spaniard. With two tough assignments against Manchester City and Chelsea out of the way, the Gunners are expected to improve significantly over the coming months and Aaron Ramsey is likely to play an important role.
Ramsey has been a terrific servant to the club and the Welshman’s consistency is vitally important to Arsenal’s style of play, but and the midfielder has just 11 months left on his current deal. Meanwhile, Unai Emery opted to leave the former Cardiff player out of the starting eleven against Chelsea but he looked extremely bright during his 22-minute cameo and looked far more dangerous than the out-going Mezut Ozil.
Ramsey’s name has been linked with both Chelsea and Manchester United and the 27-year-old will be able to speak to interested parties in January. He is the longest-serving player at the Emirates and fans will be desperate for the midfielder to remain with the club but there is believed to be a significant discrepancy between the two parties and progress has been slow so far.
Despite having their highest-ever wage bill this season, Unai Emery will be keen to avoid losing any key players in January, especially with the Gunners’ European commitments this campaign. Arsenal reached the semi-final of the Europa League last season before crashing out at the hands of Atletico Madrid. With Diego Simeone’s side returning to the Champions League this year, Arsenal have been installed as second-favourites in the with William Hill and can be backed at 7/1. Maurizio Sarri’s Chelsea are the early frontrunners in this market and are available at 6/1.
This situation is all too familiar to Arsenal fans who saw the club fail to reach a deal with Alexis Sanchez earlier this season with the Chilean eventually joining Manchester United in January 2018. as part of the same deal. Supporters will be hoping that the club’s hierarchy are able to avoid falling into the same trap once again and can tie Ramsey down to a longer-term deal.
He has also been linked with a move to Barcelona and although losing the Welshman would be a blow, very few fans are likely to begrudge the midfielder a move to Catalonia.
Arsenal have a battle on their hands for fourth place this season, facing stiff competition from Spurs, Chelsea and Manchester United and they simply cannot afford to help strengthen one of their rivals. Unai Emery is keen to maintain his services describing him as an “an important player to me” but despite this, the club’s decision-makers are yet to be convinced. It would be a statement of intent to keep hold of Ramsey and it would help prove that the club have managed to avoid repeating the same mistakes which have proved costly over the past couple of campaigns.
Wherever he ends up next summer, Arsenal mustn’t help strengthen one of their Premier League rivals once again. Whether it’s in the Europa League or the top flight, Ramsey’s ability to drive forward can get the fans on their feet and he can be a hugely influential performer. The Gunners must tread carefully and ensure that Chelsea or Manchester United aren’t given any opportunity to swoop in and pick up their talented midfielder.
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