George Graham has this afternoon chimed in on the decision of former club Arsenal to allow Aaron Ramsey to depart the club on a free transfer at the end of the season.
Arsenal exit confirmed
Welsh international Ramsey has been on the books of Arsenal for over a decade now, having made the move to North London from Cardiff in 2008.
And the 28-year-old has since gone on to rack up over 350 appearances in the Gunners’ colours, establishing himself as a club legend in the eyes of many.
As such, it came as a huge surprise when confirmation arrived in October that the goalscoring midfielder was set to depart the Emirates upon the expiration of his contract at the end of the season, after the Arsenal board made the decision to retract their offer of a new deal:
‘We thought we were in a position where we had agreed a deal, but that is no longer the case.’
‘So, I have to just carry on playing my football and do my best for Arsenal and I’ll leave the rest with the club now.’
‘That’s a decision that they have made. Things happen in football and you just have to get on with it and carry on playing the best I can.’
Quotes via the Telegraph
The aftermath of Ramsey’s revelation led to an inevitable battle amongst European football’s heavyweights to secure the Welshman’s signature on a pre-contract agreement.
The Bianconeri subsequently went on to make the 28-year-old’s signing official in February, with Ramsey having put pen to paper on a 4-year deal in Turin:
— JuventusFC (@juventusfcen) February 11, 2019
‘A quality player’
The decision of the board at the Emirates not to hand Ramsey a new-and-improved deal has since come under heavy scrutiny from fans and pundits alike, with the all-action midfielder’s stellar recent form further evidence that Arsenal look to have made a mistake.
And the latest individual to have provided his take on the Welsh international’s imminent departure is George Graham.
Former Gunners’ boss Graham, who took charge of the capital outfit from 1986 to 1995, heaped praise on Ramsey, whilst also criticizing the negotiating tactics (or lack thereof) on the part of those in charge at Arsenal:
‘The clubs usually, with two years to go on the contract, sit down and start talking. Then you have an indication of whether the player is going to stay or go,’ the 74-year-old told LoveSportRadio.
‘Obviously, they’ve made a big mistake I think in letting Ramsey go. He’s a quality player, especially in an attacking sense. He’s not the best in midfield winning the ball back for you. But he gets goals and is a great player going forward, not necessarily defending.’