Should Arsenal sell Aaron Ramsey in January?
Arsenal stars pushing moves away from Emirates, either for money or trophies, has become common these days. Having just a year left in his contract, Alex-Oxlade Chamberlain engineered a move away from Arsenal in 2017. When Liverpool had a bid for £35 million for the English midfielder, Arsenal thought that's the most of the money they can make for a player having just a year of contract left and so sanctioned the move. Chamberlain played an important role at Liverpool in his first year as his importance grew in the team - especially after Coutinho's departure to Barcelona in January.
Six months later, having just six months left on the contract, Alexis Sanchez was finding a way out of Arsenal. Manchester City came close to sign the Chilean winger, but when Manchester United came calling, Sanchez preferred United over City. Arsene Wenger, Arsenal manager at that time was looking to replace Sanchez elsewhere, but when Manchester United came with Henrikh Mkhitaryan for Sanchez, Arsenal thought it as the best deal and sanctioned the transfer. But the club never went back from the intention of keeping Mesut Ozil at that time. Gunners had a new contract for Ozil that saw the German earning £350k per week.
The attention has now turned towards Aaron Ramsey, who is contracted to the Gunners till 2019 summer. Having turned down the huge wage demands of the Welshman, the club has told Aaron Ramsey that he will not be given a new contract in late October. The club also provided freedom to Ramsey to have discussions with other clubs from January 1 and signing a pre-contract. Several clubs including Juventus, Bayern Munich, Real Madrid, Barcelona are all reported to be interested in signing Ramsey.
Italian outlet calciomercato claims Real Madrid are in pole position to sign the Arsenal star, with Gareth Bale acting as a catalyst in the move. The Real Madrid star wants a union with his country mate as he is in the duty of consoling both the parties to go ahead for the transfer. But in the other report, the same Italian source reports Juventus are front-runners to sign the Arsenal midfielder. It is also reported that Ramsey demands £10 million salary per year for three or four years, and the Seria A giants are reported to have accepted the demands. As Adrien Rabiot reportedly wants a move out of PSG, the French champions are also reported to be interested in Ramsey.
Ramsey has played 17 league game in this season so far, with nine of those coming as substitutes. He also started the game against Liverpool last weekend wearing the captain armband. Ramsey has scored a goal in the league and has six assists. Ramsey's presence in the team has gained more importance this season as his six assists have made him the best creator in the Arsenal side. His six assists in the league so far is more than Ozil, Mkhitaryan and Alex Iwobi combined.
Arsenal waited for so long to get the best out of Ramsey, and only recently has the wait come to the end. Ramsey is in the peak of his career, and feels he can play for a better club and earn more money. Arsenal manager Unai Emery claimed in November that even if the club has shown the intention of not providing Ramsey a new contract, he wants the player to be more focused and give his best performance as he thinks Ramsey is instrumental in Arsenal's campaign this season.
Ramsey's importance in the team has caught the attention of pundits many times this season, especially at the North London derby last month where it was Ramsey who led the show. Ramsey came from the bench to create more chances for his team to guide Arsenal for a famous comeback win against rivals Tottenham Hotspurs.
Arsenal should not let the player of Ramsey's caliber go on for free next summer, but at the same time, the time is too short for the Gunners to find a player of Ramsey's qualities in January. The recent Chelsea win at Crystal Palace got Arsenal five points short of fourth-placed Chelsea, and the most recent Manchester United's win against Bournemouth has put the Red Devils just three points short of Arsenal. Aaron Ramsey is instrumental in the Arsenal's rebuild under Emery, and he is very hard to be replaced in January. If Arsenal want to finish the season high and want to compete for FA Cup and Europa League, the club should hold on Ramsey until summer.