The cone of silence around the Aaron Ramsey contract situation was finally lifted on the weekend. After reportedly having a perfectly acceptable deal to both parties on the table and set to be signed a little over a month ago, the contract was pulled and Arsenal went on a bit of a “mum” campaign, leaving Ramsey in the lurch as to what the hell was going on.
This weekend, the parties finally got together to give an explanation of why contract negotiations broke down and the company line is: The decision to remove the contract was in the interest of the long-term financial health of the club (I’m paraphrasing other reports). Which boils down to, they don’t want to pay his wages, whatever they were going to be.
Why, then, he was even offered them remains inexplicably bizarre and a worrying sign that the management team is still finding their feet.
Furthermore, Arsenal stated they are not going to offer a different deal and Ramsey is free to leave the team after this season. The club did not feel the market was there to sell possibly one of their better goal-scoring midfielders and are happy to move forward without the Welshman’s services. Whether this explanation has satisfied Ramsey has not been reported.
It is a strange end to Aaron’s career. Going from being favoured and effective under Arsene Wenger to the odd man out for Unai Emery in a couple of months. He’s not getting starts in his favoured position in the midfield, with the trio of Granit Xhaka, Lucas Torreira and Matteo Guendouzi getting the lion’s share of starts there. With the pulling of the contract, it’s clear that the manager and club are aligned in moving in a different direction.
Over his ten-year Arsenal career, Ramsey has made 343 appearances, scored 59 goals, won the FA Cup three times (twice, quite literally) and fueled ENDLESS debate among the faithful. Watching him walk from the club will likely spurn more debate but at least we’ve a few more months to get used to saying goodbye.