Aaron Ramsey is heading out of Arsenal (although the door is not complete closed). There will be a lot of speculation in coming weeks as to who will replace the Welshman at Arsenal. Miguel Almiron one name frequently mentioned recently.
However, do Arsenal actually need to replace him?
The theory behind Arsenal being happy to let Ramsey go is that they do not see him as a first XI player in an Unai Emery team.
Emery has tried, and failed, to fit Ramsey and Mesut Ozil into the same team. With the more talented German playing wide. This has lessened Ozil’s influence on the team.
To get the best out of Ozil, you want him to be free to glide across the pitch. You always want him close to the ball. He can do not this on the right hand side of midfield.
In terms of number 10, Ozil is better than Ramsey. For all intents and purposes, Ramsey is Ozil’s back up.
Ramsey does not have the discipline to play in a midfield 2, he has shown us this during the last 5 years or so. Granit Xhaka and Lucas Torreira are starting to forge a well balanced partnership.
So Ramsey’s place within the current squad is to provide cover. Cover for Ozil and to a lesser extent, cover to Xhaka and Torreira.
When you accept that Ramsey is cover, you then need to question if we actually need to replace him.
In the middle of the park, Matteo Guendouzi has performed brilliantly this season. He is a key reason why we will not have to strengthen further in the middle of the park over the next few seasons.
Backing up Xhaka and Torreira are Guendouzi, Mohamed Elneny and Ainsley Maitland-Niles. That is more than sufficient options in the middle of the park. 5 quality players all offering something different. For the first time in a decade we are not screaming out for a central midfielder.
Further up the pitch, when you take Ramsey out of the picture, back up for Mesut Ozil also looks healthy.
Henrikh Mkhitaryan is a class act, and more than capable stepping in for Ozil for the 30-40% of games he missed injured and sick. At 29-years old, he is a senior pro. You know what he can do and he is more than useful.
Even with Ramsey in the squad, some would make a case that in terms of creativity, Mkhitaryan is the better back up for Ozil.
You then have Alex Iwobi, and even younger than him, Emile Smith Rowe.
Iwobi has been one of the most improved players under Emery, and Smith Rowe one of the most exciting young talents in England.
I would rather see Iwobi or Smith Rowe get game time, then Arsenal take a risk on someone like Almiron.
When you actually lay out the front 6 into a formation, you can see where money needs to be invested
Over the next two transfer windows, we need to focus on bringing in natural wingers.
Aubameyang is doing an average job out there, and Danny Welbeck and Iwobi are sufficient back up, but not regular starters. Add in Welbeck’s contract situation and it is the wide positions we need the investment.
For Ramsey’s reported £250,000 a week salary, we could almost split that equally on a left winger and right winger. £125,000 a week each in salary. In terms of yearly budget, it would then only need to be transfer fees we would need to find.
Two £50million wingers on 5 year deals would cost the club a combined £20million a year in amortised transfer fees, that is more than feasible within the clubs current budget.
The likes of Anthony Martial, Leon Bailey, Hirving Lozano, Kingsley Coman and Emil Forsberg spring to mind. We have also been recently linked with youngsters Kai Havertz and Ismaïla Sarr.
What is for certain, losing Ramsey is not a big deal.