Aaron Ramsey’s move to Juventus represents just another instance in a long line of players that the club have allowed to leave in their prime.
The Welsh international will depart the Gunners in the summer, bringing an eleven season spell to a regrettable end. He will be making the move to Champions League winning hopefuls Juventus, and is reported to be earning an incredible £400,000 a week, making him the highest paid British player on a basic salary ever.
If he is clearly so highly valued by the Italian giants who have a proven track record of being shrewd operators in the transfer market, then why is he being allowed to leave?
It’s easy to see why Juventus are right to make a move for a number of reasons, none more so than the fact that Ramsey is currently valued at around £36 million.
The decision to allow him to leave represents a severe miscalculation somewhere in the club’s hierarchy, whether it’s down to manager Unai Emery deeming him surplus to requirements or somewhere in the higher echelons of the club management.
The list of top quality players integral to the club’s success have consistently been allowed to leave, and it has gone on almost unhindered for some time now. The likes of Alexis Sanchez, Robin van Persie, Cesc Fabregas, Samir Nasri and Emmanuel Adebayor in just the last decade makes for an eye watering list alone.
In the case of Alexis Sanchez and Robin van Persie, the club’s hand was basically forced. Van Persie and Sanchez refused to sign new contracts and with their deals running out moves had to be made.
In the case of the Dutchman the club recouped £25m on its original investment with a wealthy goal return, with Sanchez came a potentially promising Mkhitaryan in the other direction. However selling to immediate arrivals has carried a sting not easily remedied.
Both Samir Nasri and Emmanuel Adebayor left for Manchester City when they were just beginning to reap rewards for the team. But both players proved to be surplus to requirements up north, have had chequered careers since, with questionable attitudes to match, and were sold at a premium to a club desperate to flex its muscles with the big boys.
Cesc Fabregas left North London a year before Van Persie in what would be the most high profile departure in some time. Not only was it a long, drawn out and tiresome transfer saga, but Fabregas was at the heart of the team. Still the Spaniard’s departure for Barcelona where he was nurtured at the La Masia academy was really a homecoming and couldn’t be avoided.
What marks Ramsey as different to those that have gone before him is that it was easily avoidable, unprovoked, and the club is getting nothing in return.
For Juventus, it represents yet another astute piece of business. Ramsey becomes the third top quality midfielder to arrive at Juventus on a free transfer following Emre Can’s arrival from Liverpool last summer and Sami Khedira from Real Madrid in 2015.
The likes of Sevilla’s Ever Banega, Chelsea’s Ross Barkley, West Ham’s Declan Rice as well as recent loanee arrival Denis Suarez are being touted in the press as potential successors. The fact is none of them can match the experience and the quality Ramsey has to offer when it’s most needed – now.
Arsenal still have the difficulty of trying to make it back into Europe’s top tier by qualifying for the Champions League, which has eluded the Gunners for the previous two seasons with pundits doubting Arsenal’s ability to finish in the top 4.
With recent results and the potential impact of a key player being ushered out of the door in Ramsey, the odds for Arsenal managing it are rising sharply. Whatever you think, it could be a really good value bet to back the Gunners to pull it off against all odds, and to compare some of the best betting sites for your bet on the Arsenal to make it to the Champions League then BetBlazers.com is a solid resource.
Let’s hope Ramsey, who was linked with moves to rivals Chelsea and Liverpool, can live up to his farewell promise posted on his social media after the announcement of his departure to Juventus. Ramsey promised to ‘finish the season strongly,’ which can only mean helping the Gunners back into the Champions League come hell or high water.
Guest post by Adam Grimshaw