On Monday, news broke that Aaron Ramsey had signed a pre-contract agreement to join Juventus this summer, meaning Arsenal now have to get going on finding a replacement.
The BBC’s David Ornstein reported at 5pm on Monday that Ramsey was set to leave Arsenal this summer, accepting a £400k-a-week offer to join Juventus (basic salary). The Welsh midfielder has already had his two-part medical and penned a four-year deal in Italy.
Given Ramsey’s goal and assist output over the years, Arsenal will certainly need to look at replacing him. Assuming the club stick with the business model they’ve used for the last couple of decades, they’ll likely look for a long-term replacement, rather than a like-for-like swap.
A recent statistical analysis of midfielders in Europe’s top five leagues by Twitter user Ashwin Raman could provide some good options. He put together a list of the top u25 midfielders in terms of their expected goals and assists in open play per 90 minutes, as seen below:
Top 20 u25 midfielders and attacking mids (basically, 8s and 10s) with 850+ minutes for open play xG+xA/90. A lot of clubs are on the lookout for a slightly advanced midfielder, especially Arsenal and Chelsea, and it's worth looking at some of the get-able players from this list. pic.twitter.com/AmY8fuL0VE
— Ashwin Raman (@AshwinRaman_) February 4, 2019
Of those listed, a few have already had strong links to Arsenal, Lyon’s Houssem Aouar and Villarreal’s Pablo Fornals in particular. Alex Iwobi is already with the club, of course, but Raman points out that he’s likely so high on the list in part because he’s been playing as a winger rather than a midfielder.
We’ll see who Arsenal end up going for, but let us know on Twitter who you’d pick from this list!