Andrea Pirlo has reportedly told Aaron Ramsey that he can find a new club and they initially proposed swapping him with Wolves so they can get their hands on Raul Jimenez but whatever Arsenal are thinking, they need to stay away.
Just one year after leaving Arsenal for free, Aaron Ramsey looks like he could well be on the move again.
There was, as we know, a contract offer on the table for Ramsey at Arsenal before his agent starting acting like a melon and the Unai Emery regime decided they didn’t actually want him.
By the time Arsenal had whipped his contract away, Ramsey had realised that he actually wanted to stay at the club he’d come to call home. It was too late. The door was held open for him and he walked through it, crying, and on to Juventus.
Without the benefit of hindsight, I’d have preferred it if Arsenal had kept Ramsey rather than let him leave last summer. Now that he has gone, however, as much as my heart wants us to bring him back, my head knows that is not a good idea given the current state of the club.
It would hurt to see him turn out in the red of Manchester United or the blue of Chelsea, two clubs linked with him already. It would be sad in a completely different way to see him in the gold of Wolves (no offence to Wolves, whom I’m well aware finished three points above Arsenal this season).
Putting all that aside and applying logic to the situation, bringing Ramsey back to the Emirates would not be a good move.
Why Arsenal shouldn’t re-sign Ramsey
Arsenal have very little money to spend so every penny counts. As Arsenal let Ramsey go on a free, they have no buy-back option. They would therefore have to stump up his full market value which is around £25m, given that his contract runs until 2023.
He was worth £36m when he left London, just £4.5m less than his top market value of £40.5m when he was 27.
Even if Juventus waive a fee for him, as they are rumoured to be considering, that doesn’t make it straightforward.
At 29, he is also on £400kpw in Turin, a salary he may not be too willing to give up easily as he will not be offered anything like that again. I can say what I like about players not playing yet taking the money, but would I cut my salary by half if I didn’t have to? Would you?
Then, there are his injury problems which have been a persistent thorn in his side since he met Ryan Shawcross when he was still only a teenager. Shawcross might have cried all the way home, but Ramsey has not had an injury-free season for 10 years since.
The notion that his ‘issues’ were down to the Arsenal medical team were quickly squashed as he continued to suffer at Juventus.
Ramsey may only have missed seven games for the Old Lady through injury but he suffered four different ones, and that’s not including the thigh problem he arrived in Italy with that ended his Arsenal career in mid-April.
Even when fit, he didn’t play as much as he would have at Arsenal.
24 Serie A appearances yielded only 1,050 minutes. That’s an average of just under 44 minutes per game. Ramsey played the full 90 just once in the league and started only 11 Serie A games.
In the Champions League, he averaged just over half-an-hour per game, although at least there he started four of the six he was selected for. He didn’t play the full 90 in any of them, though.
Throw in four Coppa Italia games, of which he started one, and the Supercoppa Italiana, when he came on for 24 minutes, and Ramsey played the full 90 minutes just once this season and averaged under 40 minutes per appearance.
Would you want to pay £400kpw for that? Or even £200k?
When Ramsey left Arsenal after 11 years, 259 appearances, 61 goals and three FA Cups, he was earning around £100kpw.
Now, he has a Serie A winner’s medal and bank account that’s four times fatter.
Juventus, if they can shift him, will be lucky to make any sort of profit even though they signed him for free. 52 weeks at £400k is £20.8m.
Would you honestly pay more than that for Ramsey now? Talk that Ramsey could be used to help Juve land Isco from Real Madrid is just fanciful.
But don’t forget, Ryan was sad and needed his mum, so it’s all OK.