Aaron Ramsey expected a fresh start and a regular role at one of the world’s greatest clubs when he left North London for Turin in the summer of 2019, but things have not been going to plan for the midfielder in Italy.
Despite being fit to make the squad 11 times this season, the 30-year-old has only played 112 minutes of club football for Juventus, under Massimiliano Allegri.
On international duty, it’s a different story. In 170 minutes for his country since the start of the season, the midfielder has a goal and an assist, and he is currently with the squad, in the hopes of qualifying them for their first World Cup.
On Twitter, journalist Fabrizio Romano claims that Juventus are looking for a way to sell Ramsey in January, as he is not in their future plans, and he’s on the lookout for a new challenge.
Newcastle United is one of the clubs Ramsey has been connected with recently, with a return to Arsenal under Mikel Arteta being mentioned too.
But why is the latter not advisable?
1. He’s no longer that good playmaker we knew
Ramsey’s ability to not only create but also finish moves with late runs into the area was one of his most prominent qualities at Arsenal.
However, that element of the midfielder’s game has clearly weakened during his time in Italy.
During his final season with the Gunners, Ramsey averaged 0.22 goals and 0.26 assists per game and in total, 0.48 goals and assists per game. That fell to 0.3 in his first season at Juve, then rose to 0.33 last season before dropping to zero this season, with no goals or assists in five matches.
Ramsey has only six goals and six assists in 70 appearances for the Italian giants, which is the most damning stat of all.
Arteta has Emile Smith Rowe and Martin Odegaard in his squad and so far, the duo has not let him down. In 13 games across all competition, Rowe has five goals and two assists, while Odegaard has a goal and an assist in 10 games.
The Gunners are covered in that area.
2. He’s not so box-to-box anymore
Ramsey’s ability to make defensive challenges and just dribble with the ball up and down the pitch has also deteriorated during his turbulent time in Italy.
Ramsey, like a genuine box-to-box midfielder, was a valuable asset in both boxes for Arsenal, with good defensive tackles and dribbling figures. At Juve, though, this has not been the case. For example, after averaging six defensive challenges per game at Arsenal in 18/19, he dropped to 5.3 defensive challenges per game in his first season at Juventus, then to 4.6 this season.
Similarly, after averaging 3.2 dribbles per game for Arsenal, Ramsey’s measure has dropped to 2.8 last season, 1.89 last season, and now just 1.02 this season.
Ramsey is a shell of his former self in more ways than one, and he would be a significant risk for Arsenal. Even if the London club was able to sign him for free or for a low sum.
Though coming to think of it, Arsenal may use an extra body in midfield due to Granit Xhaka’s injury and Thomas Partey’s impending Africa Cup Of Nations tournament, which will keep him out for a lengthy period.
But then there is the age and wage factor.
Arsenal are experiencing a youthful transition under Mikel Arteta: every addition this summer was under the age of 23, and they currently have the league’s youngest roster. A 30-year-old injury-prone player does not fit into this successful plan.
Ramsey’s salary would have to be severely curtailed as part of any deal, and Arsenal surely don’t want to be stuck with another older player on a big contract, as has been the case in the past.
Is Newcastle the answer? Should he just move there?