Tag Archives: Aaron Ramsey

ITK season is open

Middle of November, the final international break of the year, seems to have meant the start of silly season with transfer rumours.

We already have the usual ITK’s on Twitter making stuff up to gain followers. You all know the ones by now, the Ali G actor, the bloke who works in a KFC in Leicester, the A level student who call himself Plug, and the bloke pretending to be a horse. It is a surprise that people still fall for their BS.

In the last week we have seen Arsenal linked with plenty of centre backs and left wingers in the press. It is the usual tactic; write as many stories as possibly about as many players and eventually one will be right.

Arsenal will be scouting 100s of players at one time, so often when the media do say that we are “interested” in a player, it is not totally untrue. However there is a big difference between us scouting a player and actually having solid interest.

One gem in this weeks news was in The Sun. The headline was:

Arsenal target ace Denis Suarez ‘gives green light’ to join Gunners with Chelsea also tracking Barcelona star

A world exclusive that the Spanish midfielder was set to leave Barcelona in January, with Arsenal his likely destination.

But then within the article was this snippet:

But, it is unclear if the Gunners have any interest in signing the Barcelona midfielder

What a waste of 500 words saying he had the green light to join Arsenal, then only to a say that it was unclear if Arsenal wanted him.

There has also been plenty of speculation about Aaron Ramsey.

On 3 consecutive days, the same paper said that Bayern Munich, Juventus and then PSG were leading the race for him.

Of course, when a deal is announced, the ITKs and papers will all point to their tweet or article saying that they “called it” ignoring the 99 names they got wrong.

Its all a load of rubbish.


Aaron Ramsey, Ousmane Dembele and future Arsenal wingers

After the joy of watching England over the summer, the national team has reverted to type since.

Gareth Southgate has lost almost all of the good will gained due to the decision to pick Wayne Rooney for a goodbye cap, make Fabian Delph captain, and select some horrendously average players – the likes of Delph, Michael Keane, Lewis Dunk and Harry Winks.

I did not watch last night games. I could not care less for it. Mainly due to the Rooney fiasco, but also due to what Southgate is doing to the national team at the moment.

Anyway, it has been the dullest of dull interlulls, but yesterday we had a bit of breaking news as Aaron Ramsey was close to agreeing a deal to join Bayern Munich next summer on a free transfer.

These things do have to be taken with a pinch of salt. Ramsey is not actually allowed to discuss anything with a foreign club until January 1st. Although I am not naive enough to think that his people have not spoken to top clubs around Europe.

Moving to Munich would (and would not) make sense for him. I would be very surprised if he moves abroad with such a young family – his wife gave birth to twins a month ago.

However Munich seems like a good fit, and I can see him doing very well in Germany.

They are one of the few clubs that would pay him what he wants, and with James Rodriguez likely to leave and Thomas Muller seemingly shot, you can see Ramsey starting in the advanced midfield position he thrives in.

There are a couple of bellends at games who seem to laugh at booing him. Whilst he wears an Arsenal shirt, we should be backing him. And remember it is Arsenal’s decision to let him go, not his decision to leave.

I wish him luck if he joins Munich.

Other news surrounds Ousmane Dembele.

A few days ago he was heavily linked with Liverpool. I posed the question on Twitter as to whether Arsenal should be in for him at a similar price in January.

The result was close, but ultimately the British people voted to leave Europe the majority would take him.

At £85m, he would take up almost all of our summer 2019 transfer funds, especially when you take into account that he is rumoured to be on £220k a week at Barcelona.

Despite this, I would still move for him.

Next season we need two wingers, a left back and a centre back. If we assume Reiss Nelson is going to continue his fine form and development in Germany, we can assume that between him and Alex Iwobi we have the right hand side locked down. Nelson will save us £30+.

What that means is we could double up on the left hand side. use the funds we would have assigned to signing a right winger and put them towards the left winger.

attempted to do some back of the fag packet maths yesterday to show how we can sign Dembele and still have enough in the pot to secure the centre back and left back we need:

Before people get hung up on the left back, I have since changed my opinion, that we should offer Nacho Monreal one more year, cash in on Kolasinac, and buy a left back who has the potential to be long term first choice. But that is a debate for another day.

I might attempt to expand on what Arsenal can and can not buy another day.

Whilst we are talking about wingers, I encourage you to read this excellent blog by Jorge Bird detailing the talented young wingers in Arsenal’s youth teams.

I have seen our youth play a few times recently, certainly not as much as Jorge (or JW who blogs here), and we do seem to have a lot of the same type of players coming through.

We have an abundance of rapid wide men throughout our youth system, but they are also technically excellent.

Nelson aside, the two I am most excited by Xavier Amaechi and Bukayo Saka.

Amaechi is a left winger and some have claimed that he is the quickest player at the club. Currently injured, he has a big future and next year would be knocking on the door of the first team squad for the summer tour and League Cup games.

Still just 17, he has a bright future. Will we follow the same route as Nelson with him? Send him abroad a year where his sort of talent does not get kicked out of him (unlike in the Championship), before he returns to Arsenal for 2020/21 to compete for a place on Arsenal’s left hand side.

Coming up behind Amaechi is Saka, who has only just turned 16. The youngster has taken advantage of his older team mates injury to cement a a place in Arsenal’s U23s. He has also appeared for England U19s.

Saka is perhaps a year behind Amaechi in terms of development. Despite both being born in 2001 (how old does that make you feel?), they fall into different English school years. That does have an affect on development and when they could start playing more competitive football.

I expect Saka to continue his development and we will see more of him in the summer of 2020, before he pushes into the first team in 2021.

That might seem a long time away, but Saka will still just be 19 when the 2021/22 season starts!

What is exciting is underneath Alex Iwobi, we have 3 very talented wingers in Nelson, Amaechi and Saka, all of whom will be given time to develop and make an impact over the next 2 or 3 years.

That’s all from me today, the cricket is on and I have some cleaning to do. Enjoy your day!


Do Arsenal need to replace Aaron Ramsey?

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.