Rumours spread around the Arsenal interweb that Aaron Ramsey was thinking about telling the club where to stick it this summer, seeking pastures new at an elite club that understood his talents and promised not to hurt his feelings (here).
Story goes that he’s upset the fans give him shit, doesn’t like that Jack Wilshere has his own chant, and he wants a piece of PSG, Madrid or Juventus.
Now, the only reason I’m giving ITK chatter credence is, firstly, I have no shame, secondly, I’ve heard mutterings for a while that the club might look to ship Aaron on.
If you were brutally honest, forgetting this season, we missed out on selling Jack when he was a £50m player a few seasons ago. Back when City were spending stupid money on players like Jack Rodwell. I think the club are looking at Aaron, the fact he’s 27 years old, and that he’s kind of injury prone and inconsistent… and thinking, we could get £50m this summer and replace him with someone younger who can do the job we need.
But look, let’s not opine without some basic data. The money data. Games played, assists and goals over 5.5 seasons. Why? Because I don’t have data that’s any better, sorry I’m not the StatDNA CEO, hope this doesn’t ruin your day.
17-18 19 app | 6 ⚽️ | 8 assists
16-17 32 app | 4 ⚽️ | 3 assist
15-16 40 app | 6 ⚽️ | 5 assists
14-15 41 app | 10 ⚽️ | 8 assists
13-14 34 app | 16 ⚽️ | 10 assists
12-13 47 app | 2 ⚽️ | 4 assists
Aarons number are good numbers. Perfectly fine. But are they Madrid levels of great? I’m not so sure. You can point to his xG (expected goals) and xA (expected assists) numbers and purr, you can tell me about the ground he covers, the work he does off the ball, but simple fact is, when you’re 27 and delivering simply solid numbers of assists and goals, you’re not the levels of elite you might think you are.
Now here is a comparison you’re not going to like. Cesc Fabregas. I know they’re not the same player, but look at the numbers Cesc delivered for Arsenal before he left, and remember this, Cesc is only 2 years old than Aaron Ramsey.
10-11 36 app | 16 ⚽️ | 6 assists
09-10 37 app | 19 ⚽️ | 20 assist
08-09 33 app | 3 ⚽️ | 16 assists
07-08 41 app | 15 ⚽️ | 22 assists
06-07 54 app | 4 ⚽️ | 8 assists
As a reminder, Cesc left us 7 years ago. He played during the banter years and I mean the proper banter years. Not the ‘we’re rich, let’s buy Ozil’ banter years. The Nikki B, Chamakh and Adebayor years… and remember, Adebayor had 1 good season of 30 goals, preceded by 12 goals in 44 games… proceded by 16 in 37. If you’re honest, it’s very questionable as to whether he delivered more than Giroud. Certainly just as frustrating. Anyway, my point is Cesc played in a more banter squad than Ramsey.
Running numbers for Cesc’s last 5 full seasons before he left AFC, versus Ramsey’s last 5 full season you get the following.
- Cesc: 201
- Ramsey: 194 (played 3.6% less games)
- Ramsey: 30
- Cesc: 72 (140% more)
- Ramsey: 38
- Cesc: 57 (50% more)
You can absolutely tell me that Cesc played a different role, and I’ll buy it. But big clubs demand actual numbers, you can’t sell a DoF on potential if that potential wants £200k a week. That money needs the finished product.
So what are we expecting from Ramsey? Why do we bang on about xG and xA if we’re not expecting that to convert in hard stats? Why is he compared to Lampard (Wenger) and Gerrard (Ramsey himself) if we don’t expect assists and goals?
If it’s about his game that isn’t numbers based, why does he get exposed by bigger teams so often? Why is our midfield so utterly awful, lacking discipline, maturity and power (I know it’s not only Ramsey in midfield, but Cesc rocked it next to Matty Flamini, and he was utter dross)? Shouldn’t a player looking for Madrid moves be capable of dominating games and inspiring others?
Now, I’m playing devil’s advocate a touch, but I’m also trying to point out that the hype needs to be delivered upon. Up until Saturday, his goal return was 3 for the season. So far, he’s scored 4 against Everton, one against Swansea and another at Leicester. All without midweek the CL games. He’s the freshest in the league and we’ve still only just hit six goals. Madrid levels? Please.
My suspicions are that if he is offered £200k at Arsenal, he’ll absolutely take it, because no one else is paying him that much. I also don’t believe he gets abuse at the ground, he’s so far down the pecking order for that it’s unreal. My gut feeling says that Arsenal don’t want to offer major money to him because they could probably find better value elsewhere.
Now I might be totally wrong here. Sanchez leaving might be a catalyst for something. Ramsey might click in a big way we’ve not seen before. He might stay fit. But as it stands, can you honestly tell me what he’s offering to the team that would convince you he’s going to change the game for us moving forward?
We know he’ll be wanting KDB levels of cash. Question is, do you think he’s worth that?
What would you do?
See you in the comments.