The Telegraph report that Chelsea are preparing a £30 million bid for Arsenal midfielder Aaron Ramsey who is entering the final year of his contract. Last season, the Gunners were forced to sell Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Alexis Sanchez to rival Premier League clubs due to their contract situations. They are now facing a similar situation with their 27-year-old midfielder with Maurizio Sarri keen to bring him to Stamford Bridge.
This would be a disaster for Arsenal and underline the poor management of their contracts in recent seasons. Unai Emery will be hoping to correct that during his tenure, but he has inherited a potentially messy situation when it comes to Ramsey. At the age of 27, he is entering the peak years of his career and it would be a major blow for him to leave the Emirates Stadium for another top-six team.
Earlier in the summer, the Telegraph reported that Emery wanted to offer Ramsey a significant pay-rise and make the midfielder an important part of his plans. However, as the transfer deadline approaches without a deal being agreed with the player, the Gunners grow more likely to lose him.
Arsenal are likely to play with a three-man midfield this season and those plans will be hurt if Ramsey was to leave the club. He is the perfect box-to-box player for the formation and will be given freedom to express himself in attack.
Although the Gunners finished in a disappointing sixth last season, the Welsh international contributed seven goals and eight assists. His goal involvement was one every 123.2 minutes. Ramsey’s underlying numbers were also impressive, as he averaged 2.3 shots, 1.2 key passes and 1.2 dribbles per game
To put this into context, Christian Eriksen was involved in one every 161.3 minutes, while Kevin de Bruyne was involved in a goal every 128.5 minutes.
Ramsey was excellent in the final third for Arsenal when he was fit and able to play a part. Despite being considered a less effective player than either Eriksen or De Bruyne, he was more productive in terms of goals and assists per minutes played. If the Gunners can progress and he stays fit, there is no reason why he can’t be set for an even better season.
In addition to his productivity, Ramsey is a hard-working player who can contribute in his own half of the pitch. He averaged 2.5 ball recoveries per match last season. It isn’t his best attribute, but he is certainly not a passenger when the team doesn’t have possession.
If Chelsea do manage to coax Ramsey away from Arsenal for the rumoured £30 million price, it will be an excellent piece of business for the club. They would be able to start with a midfield three of N’Golo Kante, Jorginho and Ramsey, which would be one of the best starting trios in the Premier League. It would also send out a statement that they remain one of the teams to beat after a difficult summer.
On the other hand, it would be a disaster for Arsenal and one that could potentially destroy any momentum that they have managed to build over the summer. There is positivity about the season ahead under Emery after some good signings. That would quickly dissipate, and the club can’t allow that to happen. They can’t allow Ramsey to leave at any price.