Aaron Ramsey has seemingly opened the door for a departure from Juventus two years after arriving on a free.
If Aaron Ramsey had his way, he never would have left Arsenal. 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 realised that he actually wanted to stay at the club he thought of as home. It was too late. The door was held open for him and he walked through it, crying, and on to Juventus.
Ramsey has been linked with a departure more or less since he arrived in Italy. It seems they aren’t best pleased that a player, who was injured all the time, got injured all the time, even though he probably enjoyed a better period of fitness than he had at Arsenal post-Shawcross.
While on international duty at the Euros, Ramsey hinted that Juve’s medical team weren’t the best at dealing with his battered body when he said, “It has been a quite challenging time over the past couple of seasons.
“There have been many factors and changes that I haven’t been used to.
“In the end, now I have got my own team around me who are focused on me, to get myself into the best possible shape.
“Football is a team sport and a lot of the time it is about the team and everybody doing the same things, when maybe some players need a bit more attention.
“So, I take it into my own hands and have the right people around me to try to come up with the best possible plan to get myself back into a place where I am feeling good and confident again.
“The Welsh staff and medical team have been brilliant, they have been open for discussions and it’s important to all be on the same page.
“I have known a lot of the Welsh staff for a long time from my Arsenal days as well.
“They understand me, they know my body and they know what I need.”
In a second interview, this time with La Republica, Ramsey seemed to open the door for a departure, something Juventus would likely agree to.
“The last two seasons at Juventus have been very difficult, frustrating, not just from a physical point of view,” Ramsey said. “I want a place where I can feel good again.”
Given the similarities of the quotes, these could be down to a translation error. I picked them up in Le10Sport, who got them from the paywalled La Republica.
They also seem quite out of character for Ramsey who is the last person on the planet likely to go on a boat rocking trip. Still, he sounds frustrated in how he has been handled since leaving Arsenal and it wouldn’t surprise me to see him on the move this summer.
Arsenal have, of course, been linked with a move for their former player but it’s not clear if there is any truth to the claims or if it’s just laziness from reporters.
Without the benefit of hindsight, I’d have preferred it if Arsenal had kept Ramsey rather than let him leave in 2019. Now that he has gone, however, as much as my heart wants us to bring him back, my head knows that it is probably not a good idea given the current state of the club.
It would hurt to see him turn out in the red of Liverpool 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, who were strongly linked last summer.
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 was around £25m last summer but has dropped to £12.5m this summer with the midfielder turning 30 and his contract entering its final two years.
He was worth £36m when he left London, just £4.5m less than his top market value of £40.5m when he was 27.
The fee, then, is not as much of an issue was it was.
There is, however, the small matter of his wages.
Ramsey is reportedly 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 12 years since.
The notion that his ‘issues’ were down to the Arsenal medical team were quickly squashed as he continued to suffer at Juventus.
Even when fit, he didn’t play as much as he would have at Arsenal.
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 a bank account that’s four times fatter.
Arsenal and Ramsey both have issues they need to sort out. None of which, it seems to me, will be rectified by a reunion.
That being said, if Arsenal were to bring him home, I’d be lying if I said it wouldn’t make me smile.