Aaron Ramsey to Chelsea makes no sense
Aaron Ramsey’s mooted move to Chelsea would make no sense for all three parties involved.
Ramsey’s reticence to sign a new contract is a symptom of Arsenal’s past negotiations; specifically, Mesut Ozil holding back on putting pen to paper last year, in the hope of a significant wage increase. If you need reminding, he got it. While the Welshman is hardly avaricious, football is a short-career and anyone blaming him or his agent for seeking better terms should turn their ire elsewhere. The delay, however, has sparked interest from London rivals, Chelsea. By the laws of footballing rumours, what should happen when Arsenal faced Chelsea in a pre-season? The man in question pulled out of the game, citing a minor calf injury. Whether or not the reason was genuine is irrelevant, for it set the gossip into overdrive.
Yet for all the excited chatter, this hypothetical deal won’t help Arsenal, Chelsea or indeed Ramsey. Let’s begin with the Gunners. Losing a key player to a rival has been an all-too-frequent event for Arsenal – Samir Nasri, Robin van Persie, Cesc Fabregas (indirectly, one supposes), Ashley Cole and so forth – and to lose another would make a statement. Not the kind of grand and imposing statement a club should wish to make, but a sorry message that nothing has really changed in the wake of Arsene Wenger’s departure and Emery’s arrival. It would be Arsenal once again invoking their own inferiority and for a club set on returning to the height of the game, this would be a damning start to life under their new boss.
Now, let’s travel six miles down the road to Stamford Bridge. There are quiet whispers that Maurizio Sarri will make Chelsea loveable. That his electric brand of football with make the Blues irresistible to watch – it would be quite the PR job. On the surface, Ramsey’s energy and creative endeavour would appear to complement Sarri’s demands. Indeed, in another life, swapping red for blue may have made perfect sense. Yet, for Chelsea, an already congested midfield would mean a pointless squabble for places. Competition is healthy, but given Chelsea are well-stocked in this department, it would be a rather folly investment. Ruben Loftus-Cheek will look to build on a breakthrough year with Crystal Palace and England, Ross Barkley has impressed in pre-season, Danny Drinkwater will not want to continue warming the bench and that is before we have mentioned Cesc Fabregas and N’Golo Kante. Oh, and their new £60 million recruit, Jorginho.
Onto Ramsey, who ended last season in the sort of form that the footballing public know he is capable of, but which he fails to attain consistently. Emery wants Ramsey to stay and has made his views clear to the board. The ex-PSG’s boss will look to combine high-intensity pressing with enterprise on the ball; in Ramsey, Emery recognises a player who is tailor-made for his vision. The 27-year-old is arguably the fittest player in the squad and dovetails energy with panache and purpose on the ball. Should he avoid injuries – something which he has failed to do his whole career, it must be said – the central-midfielder has the potential to be the fulcrum of Arsenal’s midfield.
Ramsey splits opinion at The Emirates and, ever capricious, the Gunners’ faithful can hail him as a genius one minute and a waste of space the next. The late 20s are traditionally when a midfielder hits peak form, and under the liberating style of Emery, Ramsey can finally cement an indisputable legacy in North London.