With the Aaron Ramsey debate reigniting, it’s only justified to have a look at why did the Arsenal board decide to let him go. Did Arsenal got it right or not?
Some things should be ascertained before we analyse the situation, firstly, we have to accept that the decision was impacted by Mesut Özil’s recent contract deal and the fact that Aaron Ramsey was a proven match-winner, no doubts over his quality. Following is our take:
Arsenal usually plays a 4-2-3-1 for the most period under Wenger as well as Emery. Now if you look at that midfield, it has a CAM and two midfielders (MF), and a primary reason why that midfield struggled is that none of that two MFs was a quality defensive midfielder (DM).
Now at that time, you had Özil, Xhaka, Guendouzi, Aaron Ramsey, Torreira and Elneny to fill those 3 places. For CAM you had Özil or Ramsey, Xhaka was clearly preferred as one of two MF, and they wanted a DM as the other MF hence why Torreira was prefered.
It has been widely reported that Ramsey wanted a wage around the 300k/w mark so I’m going by that assumption. Now given his contract was renewed, then we would have had two players at a combined 650k/w for one position and none of them was a guaranteed starter under Emery.
Other option would have been to fit him alongside Xhaka as the other MF. That would have again weakened the midfield without a DM. Add to that the injury-prone record of Ramsey.
If you go back to January 2019 and think you’re going to have two players worth a combined 650k/w with a possibility that none of them would start a week in week out, would you have given Ramsey the contract?
In the hindsight had Arsenal given that contract to Ramsey then they couldn’t even have thought of signing Partey until one of Ozil or Ramsey left.
Would Ramsey have had an impact this season? Surely, a big one. Is it easy to replace Aaron Ramsey with a player of same attributes and ability, absolutely not, it would even be more financially infeasible than giving him a new contract.
Though from what it seems, Arsenal didn’t even want to replace him in the first place, they rather preferred a DM then another AM. Though they still would have kept him due to his quality and match-winning ability if not for his high wage demands.
Another thought behind not bulging to his demands would have the wrong precedent that might have been established. After Özil’s 350k/w, if Ramsey was given 300k/w then we would have every important player coming upto us with similar demands, something this club can’t afford.
Arsenal would have been better off having Ramsey at 300k then Ozil at 350k. But that wasn’t in Arsenal’s hand in Jan 2019. Hence, in the given circumstances, I believe they made the right decision by letting Aaron Ramsey go.