Aaron Ramsey becomes the latest player to run down Arsenal contract

Aaron Ramsey becomes the latest player to run down Arsenal contract

Aaron Ramsey becomes the latest player to run down Arsenal contract

Welsh International Aaron Ramsey is set to move from his current club of Arsenal to Italian giants Juventus in a deal which is set to leave the midfielder in Turin for five years on a contract of over £140,000 per week. Ramsey has played in the capital for ten years and despite such a long stint with Arsenal, the 28-year-old is set to move on a free transfer – which is disappointing for fans of the Premier League giants and even for the club themselves. However, this isn’t the first time the North-London side have seen one of their most important and long-serving players leave their side for free and below we look back at some of the most notable departures in previous years – as well as the other two men also set to leave in the summer of 2019 for no fee.

A recurring story?

One of the most recent free-transfer departures from Arsenal as recent as 2018 was midfielder Jack Wilshere – who left the club for no money – despite having had a 17-year stint with his boyhood side. West Ham came calling and with the modern-day prices of players continuing to increase, the departure of Wilshere was somewhat of a disaster for a club which is steeped with a history of bringing through some top young players through their academy ranks. Wilshere’s departure came as a result of the arrival of manager Unai Emery in the summer of 2018 and although Arsenal should have learnt from this harsh lesson – his former teammate Ramsey being set to depart just seven months later suggest the London club have not learnt.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain also left Arsenal after entering the final year of his deal at the Emirates Stadium. Frustrated at his lack of opportunity to play centre midfield, the England international moved to Liverpool after Jurgen Klopp offered him opportunities in his favoured position. It’s proved to work in his favour, with Chamberlain showing arguably the form of his career before a devastating knee injury ended his season. The 25-year-old is expected to return between February and March to help the Reds’ title push and, again, is a player that the club may well feel regret about losing. Looking at Chamberlain’s form at Anfield last season and the current Arsenal squad, there is surely a place in that midfield for the Ox over what the Gunners currently have.

Another famous departure from Arsenal was one of their most prolific forwards from the past decade – Dutch striker Robin van Persie. The 35-year-old left London for bitter rivals Manchester United in 2012 and despite scoring 96 goals for the Gunners, the recurring problem of big players leaving for little or no transfer fee seemed to be in its early stages. The Dutchman then went on to score 48 goals for United and has since scored over 40 goals for Fenerbache and still continues to score goals for his boyhood club Feyenoord. At just £20m, he was an absolute snip and one of the best signings of Sir Alex Ferguson’s reign, almost single-handedly firing United to the Premier League title.

Current players also set to leave this season

It’s not only Ramsey who will leave the club for no fee this season, long-serving players Petr Cech and Danny Welbeck are also out of contract and following the trend of the Londoners allowing some of their most loyal players to go into the last year of their contract with no action taken by the hierarchy. 36-year-old Cech has made over 110 appearances for his side since 2015 and whilst being of an older age – his career achievements certainly make him a more than capable player for either Arsenal or a club lower down in the English football pyramid.

Joining Cech out the door this summer and arguably the most frustrating departure for fans of Arsenal will be 28-year-old England International Welbeck. The forward undoubtedly has lots left to give in his career and having made over 100 appearances in all competitions for his side, as well as having had successful loan stints with Sunderland and Preston – the Manchester-born player being allowed to leave on a free is a loss for Arsenal’s depth. Going forward under the Emery reign, the Gunners hierarchy certainly has to improve its plan in terms of transfer structure and these few examples, as well as their several other free transfers over the years, have to be lessons for the club to learn and fans will be hoping Ramsey will be the last example of this disappointment.

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