Aaron Ramsey exit threatens Arsenal's identity – Peter Crouch

Posted Tuesday, October 02, 2018 by squawka.com

Aaron Ramsey exit threatens Arsenal's identity – Peter Crouch

Stoke City striker Peter Crouch believes the possible departure of Aaron Ramsey from Arsenal could seriously jeopardise the club's identity.

Ramsey, 27, will see his current contract in north London expire at the end of the season, but the Welshman had been discussing personal terms with the club's hierarchy over a new deal, though talks reportedly broke down at the end of last week and he now looks destined to leave.

The two parties hit a stumbling block in negotiations, and now Aaron Ramsey would be free to sign a pre-contract agreement with foreign clubs starting from January 2019.

Despite this ongoing issue, Ramsey has played a vital role under new coach Unai Emery this season, starting six matches in the Premier League and making a further appearance from the bench as the club sit fifth.

Arsenal – who lost long-serving manager Arsene Wenger and academy product Jack Wilshere over the summer – are now at risk of losing another one of their trusted stalwarts, and Peter Crouch believes his exit could seriously hinder the club's identity.

In his Daily Mail column, Crouch wrote: "What worries me about this situation is the fact that Ramsey potentially leaving would lead to more chipping away of Arsenal's identity.

"He has been at the Emirates Stadium for 10 years and knows the values of the place; he understands what the fans want.

"In this era, players like that are hard to find. Aside from that, how much longer can Arsenal afford to keep losing those individuals who are at the top end in terms of quality?

"Off the top of my head, I can name eight departures who weakened Arsenal and strengthened their rivals.

"We can start off with Emmanuel Adebayor, Samir Nasri, Kolo Toure and Gael Clichy, who went to Manchester City — the last three were all titles winners at the Etihad Stadium. Barcelona took Cesc Fabregas before he returned to Chelsea — he's won 10 major trophies since being sold in 2011.

"Robin van Persie went to Manchester United and inspired their last Premier League success, Liverpool pounced for Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and he played a pivotal role in them reaching the Champions League final.

"Earlier this year, Alexis Sanchez followed the Van Persie route to Old Trafford. This should not happen to a club of Arsenal's stature.

"I understand the desire to go in a fresh direction after Arsene Wenger's reign ended but it appears that the transition is going to be a difficult one and I can't see how letting someone like Ramsey go will help."

Under new coach Emery, the club have made a positive start to the new season, now winning seven matches on the spin, and sitting just a place outside the top-four. They next face Azerbaijani outfit Qarabag FK in the Europa League on Thursday.

Aaron Ramsey at Arsenal
Aaron Ramsey is currently the longest-serving player on the club's books, despite only being 27 years old; he joined in 2008 from boyhood club Cardiff City for a fee reportedly in the region of £5m.

Since then, the Caerphilly-born midfielder has amassed 339 appearances for the club across all competitions, registering 59 assists and scoring 59 goals.

Aaron Ramsey has clinched the club's Player of the Season accolade on two occasions, and has also lifted three FA Cups during his time in north London, as well as two Community Shields.

He is yet to score this season but has already registered two assists, and should he stay until the end of the campaign, then he will be looking to become the club's top Premier League assist-maker for consecutive seasons.

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