Aaron Ramsey contract situation pushing Arsenal to the extreme
Image Via: Flickr/Ronnie MacDonald. Used under Creative Commons.
Arsenal has played their last three games with Aaron Ramsey sitting on the bench. This is something that became uncommon at the season's start. Many suggested that the stall in his contract negotiations is affecting the club as a whole. In the event that the Welshman leaves The Emirates, you can understand Unai Emery's decision to give others their opportunity in an attempt to see what they can do before having to draft in a replacement from elsewhere. Lucas Torreira and Matteo Guendouzi have been the main beneficiaries so far.
The situation is clear, no player is bigger than the club. Ramsey is the longest-serving player at Arsenal, he's also their top goal-getter from the current crop. The midfielder knows this, he has the power to demand a significantly greater wage increase than the club is willing to offer right now. On the flip side, Raul Sanllehi, Arsenal's head of football, seemingly isn't willing to give in. It's a finely balanced situation.
Ramsey's winding down contract means that he'll be free to talk to foreign suitors in January. There have been whispers suggesting that the midfielder is demanding wages that'd throw Arsenal's contract structure up in the air, although The Gunners did have a hefty offer on the table - before it was swiftly removed after the disagreement in potential earnings.
Time is running out. It's now down to Arsenal to work out just how much they value Ramsey. At this point, it's clear that the player is becoming frustrated after admitting his surprise at the contract offer being withdrawn, but it's easy to understand both sides of the story.
This situation-at-hand is different from most that have happened at Arsenal in years gone by. Take Alexis Sanchez as an example. His contract was winding down, it was the player who refused to commit rather than the other way around. Unlike the Chilean, Ramsey doesn't hold all the aces. He's not at the level of the now-Manchester United player. The fact that an offer was on the table but Arsenal were willing to revoke it proves that they see the Welsh midfielder as somewhat dispensable. It could also be about making a statement. Sanllehi is trying to reinforce the belief that the club is bigger than the player, although he is playing a risky game.
There is still time to agree upon a new deal with Ramsey, and perhaps some sort of middle-ground can be reached. The likelihood is that the player will remain at Arsenal until at least the summer, giving the club at least six months to keep talking to his representative's and work out some sort of deal.
At this point, Ramsey is probably the last player who was a part of the legacy that the brilliant Arsene Wenger was trying to build. The 27-year-old is somewhat talismanic for the North London club. He has been with Arsenal for a decade, and although The Gunners won't be willing to fold and pay Ramsey whatever he wants, coming to some sort of agreement in between seems like the best decision for all involved.