According to reports in Italy, former Arsenal star Aaron Ramsey could be set to end his below-par spell with Juventus after only one season with the Serie A champions. The 29-year-old has struggled to make an impact in Maurizio Sarri’s side since his arrival on a free last summer, making only 12 league appearances this term, six of those coming off the bench.
Of course, Ramsey’s potential exit has Arsenal fans begging the question of a reunion with the Welsh international, but would it really be a sensible transfer for Mikel Arteta and the Arsenal hierarchy to pursue?
Ramsey’s game time woes
As previously mentioned, Ramsey has only started six of Juventus’ 23 league matches this term, playing the full 90 minutes in none of them. It seems astonishing that the last time the 29-year-old saw a game out to the final whistle was when he netted both goals in Wales’ 2-0 win over Hungary back in November. His brace meant Ryan Giggs’ side had secured their passage into Euro 2020, but has since failed to register a goal or assist for the Old Lady.
Yesterday’s fixture against Hellas Verona should have brought back positive memories for the Welsh international, whose only league goal for Juventus was scored against Ivan Juric’s side on his debut in a 2-1 win for Sarri and co. In a disappointing turn of fortunes, he was forced to watch from the bench as Verona avenged that loss by the same scoreline, with Ramsey unable to influence the game having been brought on for the last 20 minutes.
That loss means Juventus could slip down into second if Inter come out trumps in the Milan derby later on today, unsurprising considering their distinct lack of creativity from midfield. The trio of Adrien Rabiot, Miralem Pjanic and Rodrigo Bentancur was preferred to Ramsey against Verona, and last night was a prime example of why they can’t rely on the goals of Cristiano Ronaldo forever.
It’s clear that Ramsey would offer something totally different to that midfield, but nevertheless has only managed a measly 188 minutes in Juventus’ last five matches in all competitions. Having also suffered from some frustrating injury layoffs this term, his match fitness could do with some serious improvement before this summer’s Euros.
Would he fit in at Arsenal now?
At first glance, yes. But looking at it from all sides, no.
It’s not just a question of whether Gooners would welcome him back. No-one has forgotten how the 29-year-old recovered from a horrific leg break to become one of Arsene Wenger’s most trusted and influential players from 2013 onwards. Ramsey’s winning goal against Hull City in the 2014 FA Cup final to end the Gunners’ nine-year trophy drought was one of the moments of the decade for Arsenal fans, and he repeated that feat three years later against Chelsea in another memorable fixture.
Furthermore, the Welshman’s last North London derby will be etched into the hearts of Gooners for years to come, as he circled around Wembley chanting “This is my f****** pitch!” after skipping past Hugo Lloris for Arsenal’s opener. There are very few players this decade that command as much respect for the Gunners as Ramsey does, making it easy for fans to want him back at the Emirates again.
Right now, I would definitely give Ramsey a start over Mesut Ozil in the no.10 role, seeing as the German’s goal contributions have seriously dried up in recent times. Thinking rationally however, he isn’t getting any younger at 29, is never a guarantee with his fitness, and would take up a huge chunk of our wage bill.
It’s easy to think about everything Ramsey’s done for the club and come to the conclusion that it should be a no brainer to bring him back. In the grand scheme of things, it would be a much wiser decision to move on and pursue younger targets, whilst also allowing Gooners to look back on the Welsh wizard with a great deal of admiration.