Opinion: Aaron Ramsey possibly following Mesut Ozil's path with regard to his Arsenal contract
Arsenal have found themselves in awkward situations over the past few years. For some reason, they have let some of their most important players run down their contracts. For a club of Arsenal's stature, it is extremely surprising key players are left to run their contracts down.
Under normal circumstances, big clubs always keep their big players on long term contracts. At Real Madrid, Barcelona, Bayern Munich, Juventus, Manchester United, etc, it is almost unheard of that players like Gareth Bale, Lionel Messi, Lewandowski, Cristiano Ronaldo, and Paul Pogba have a year to go on their contracts. Arsenal must aspire to do same, but they just don't seem to learn.
In 2012, Robin van Persie was sold to Manchester United after his contract had only a year left to run. Not wanting to lose him for nothing the following season, Arsene Wenger sanctioned his sale to United. Prior to that, Samir Nasri had been in the same scenario. With a year left to run on his Arsenal contract, he rejected the improved deal Arsenal had offered him, and was consequently sold to Man City.
This year, Alexis Sanchez defected to Manchester United in a swap deal involving Henrikh Mkhitaryan. The Chilean had clearly refused to renew with Arsenal, and by the time he joined United in January, he had only 6 months of his Arsenal contract remaining.
As if that was not enough, Arsenal fan favourite Jack Wilshere was allowed to leave on a Bosman after his contract with Arsenal expired. German playmaker Mesut Ozil was in the same situation as Sanchez, but after losing the Chilean, Arsenal didn't want to lose the German as well.
They were therefore forced to hand him fresh terms, offering him a jaw-dropping £350,000 pounds a week, the highest in the club's history.
Given Arsenal's wage structure, that was not an amount they were quite willing to pay, but Ozil had left Arsenal cornered and they had nothing to do except to either pay up or lose him for nothing in the summer.
At the moment, The Gunners find themselves in exactly the same situation as before. Star midfielder Aaron Ramsey has been allowed to enter the final 12 months of his contract and as expected, speculation has been rife linking him with moves away from the club.
For an Arsenal side undergoing their biggest transition in 22 years, such speculation regarding one of Unai Emery's most important midfielders is undesirable. But the truth is this was self engineered.
Having seen similar ugly situations, the club would have worked as hard as possible to hand the Welshman a fat long-term deal a long time ago. This would have saved them from the possibility of losing their most important midfielder.
The manager has been very clear about how highly he rates Ramsey, and how he wants to build his midfield around him. This has made the club desperate to re-sign the midfielder. Consequently, this has weakened the club's position - and strengthened Ramsey's.
The longer he takes to agree terms on a new contract, the more desperate the club will get, and a departure on a free becomes a much greater possibility. I'm convinced Ramsey wants to stay, but is looking to secure himself as big a deal as possible, and Arsenal will definitely give it to him.
Like Ozil, Ramsey has not expressed any desire to leave, but at the same time, just like the German - he has not put pen to paper on a new deal. This suites him perfectly as Arsenal will have to bow to his demands. In the end, Ramsey will be given a deal that could be one of the biggest in the club's history.
Apparently - Aaron Ramsey is clearly looking to do an Ozil, without a shadow of doubt.