Former Arsenal defender Martin Keown believes the Gunners are now regretting their failure to give Aaron Ramsey a new contract.
The 28-year-old scored the opening goal in the 2-0 win against Napoli on Thursday and has been in superb form in recent weeks.
However, Ramsey will be leaving the Emirates for Juventus in the summer on a free transfer, and Keown feels that the Welshman should have been ahead of Mesut Ozil in the queue for a new deal:
“He’s at his peak and he’s leaving to go to another football club. I think he’s been harshly treated. I know there’s been the Ozil situation and if I was picking between Ozil and Ramsey, it’d have to be Ramsey.”
“It’s a sad situation. He’s a victim of circumstances. He’s continued to mature as a player and develop. He’s a real leader in this Arsenal team. Playing in a deeper role, as he did under Arsene Wenger, I think that’s the best role for him if you want him and Ozil in the same team.”
“He’s so important to everything they do. It’s the energy and the quality at the end of it. He really has become an outstanding technician.”
Ramsey will reportedly be on £400,000 a week (before tax) when he moves to Juve. Considering the Gunners had already given a new contract to Ozil a year ago on similar terms, many have questioned the Arsenal board’s decision making.
As Keown mentions, the Welsh international has been extremely professional despite knowing that he will be on his way in July.
Ramsey has spent nearly 11 years with the London club but he will want to depart on a high. With their first leg win against Napoli, the chances of lifting the Europa League trophy before his departure have greatly increased.