Former Arsenal midfielder, Aaron Ramsey, has opened up about his decision to decline an enticing offer from the Saudi Pro League, opting for a “priceless” return to Cardiff City, the club where his illustrious career commenced.

Aaron Ramsey via Cardiff City
Aaron Ramsey via Cardiff City
  • Ramsey reflects on the allure of the Saudi Pro League but chooses family and Cardiff.
  • Despite a massive influx of talent to the Saudi Pro League, Ramsey stresses on personal priorities.
  • Ramsey’s positive outlook on Cardiff City’s direction under the new manager, Erol Bulut.

The world of football has recently seen a vast surge in players being drawn to the Saudi Pro League, with Saudi Arabia investing heavily.

“It’s a hot topic at the moment,” Ramsey told Sky Sports, noting the substantial financial incentives the league offers.

In the past two years alone, Saudi Arabia’s football-related spending has surpassed £3.5 billion, attracting numerous talents.

Having the chance to become the first British player to enter Saudi Arabia’s profitable league before Jordan Henderson accepted an offer, Aaron Ramsey decided against it.

“For me, it wasn’t the right time or the right thing to do for me, my career and for my family,” said the former Arsenal and Juventus star.

Ramsey’s affinity for Cardiff, where he debuted as a 16-year-old and surpassed John Toshack’s record as the youngest Bluebird, played a crucial role in his decision.

Under the new management of Erol Bulut, who formerly managed Turkish giants Fenerbahce, Cardiff City seems to be on an upward trajectory.

Bulut’s experience in handling high expectations and pressures is something Ramsey admires.

With recent signings, including former Reading striker Yakou Meite and West Brom loanee Karlan Grant, Ramsey is optimistic about Cardiff’s chances in returning to the Premier League.

“I like the way the manager has come in and put down his own stamp so far,” said Ramsey. “He’s very positive and so is the style of football that he wants to try and play.

“He’s managed Fenerbahce – one of the top teams in Turkey – and is used to the expectations and pressures at the highest level to be able to perform and to win games.

“The club had some great years at the highest level and that is something we want to try and bring back here. So hopefully not too long in the future, we can see Cardiff back in the Premier League.”

Cardiff start their 23/24 league campaign on Sunday, 6 August, with a 2.30pm kick-off at Leeds United.