Arsenal began the week with some good news, announcing that both Per Mertesacker and Tomas Rosicky have signed new deals with the club. Both deals had been anticipated for some time. However, within a matter of hours, another story broke that came as something of a shock. According to Stuart James of The Guardian, Aaron Ramsey is set to extend his contract with the club, doubling his wage packet in the process:
Aaron Ramsey will give Arsenal a major boost this week by signing a vastly improved five-year contract with the club. The Wales international has agreed a deal worth in excess of £100,000 a week, more than doubling his current salary and making him the second-highest paid player at Arsenal, behind only Mesut Özil.
The move is a surprise because Ramsey had fairly recently signed another extension. In December 2012, he joined five other young British internationals in putting pen to paper on a new deal. That contract still had more than two years to run.
However, a lot has changed since then. When Ramsey was given that contract, it was a show of faith from Arsene Wenger in a player who was struggling for form. Prior to the announcement, there was even some speculation that Ramsey could be set to leave the club. In the summer of 2012, The Daily Mail suggested that he could be a target for Fulham to sign on loan.
Now, the idea of Ramsey being allowed to leave Arsenal is unthinkable—and the calibre of club interested in him has shifted significantly. In December 2013, the same newspaper claimed that the Welshman was being scouted by La Liga giants Barcelona. It’s quite the transformation.
Ramsey’s form in 2013/14 has been outstanding. Even though he has missed two months of the Premier League season, only Yaya Toure and Eden Hazard can boast more goals from midfield. Ramsey’s extraordinary contribution in the early part of the season helped propel Arsenal into a title race in which they were never expected to compete.
Some might feel it’s a little soon to send Ramsey’s salary sky-high. However, the truth is that he’s been in great form for more than 12 months now. At the back end of the 2012/13 season, his all-action displays were a key component in helping Arsenal qualify for the Champions League. This season, he has added goals and pushed the Gunners on another gear.
The figures are also a consequence of what could be called “The Mesut Ozil Effect.” When Arsenal signed Ozil, they effectively broke a long-standing wage structure. Inevitably, other players salaries are now being moved into line with that revised budget. Ramsey is not alone in getting a wage bump. According to The Mirror, Ramsey’s contract will soon be followed by a new deal for Santi Cazorla.
Ramsey’s decision to recommit his future to the Gunners is undoubtedly great news. What’s more, there are further positive tidings on the horizon. By the time Arsenal play their next Premier League match, Ramsey could be back on the field. It surely won’t take him long to prove that he’s worth every penny.