Arsenal Transfer News: Gunners Can't Afford to Lose Aaron Ramsey This Summer

Gianni Verschueren@ReverschPassFeatured ColumnistMay 16, 2014

Arsenal's Aaron Ramsey plays against Hull City during their English Premier League soccer match at Emirates Stadium in London, Wednesday, Dec. 4, 2013. (AP Photo/Sang Tan)
Sang Tan/Associated Press

Former Arsenal Striker John Hartson believes Aaron Ramsey will be a summer transfer window target for several high-profile clubs following his terrific 2013-14 season, but the Gunners should do whatever they can to make sure the Welsh youngster remains at the club for the foreseeable future.

Speaking to the BBC, Hartson confirmed he too believes the young midfielder is going nowhere:

Aaron Ramsey will be linked to 10 clubs in the summer.

But I can't see him leaving Arsenal in the foreseeable future. He's settled and loves the club.

He's a top player and Arsenal don't want to lose him.

He may feel 'I've had one outstanding season and Arsenal stuck by me when I wasn't playing that great a few years ago'.

When he does get linked and when bids come in for him that tells you he's doing exceptionally well.

Ramsey has indeed been doing quite well, emerging as one of Arsenal's top players this season before injury sidelined him during the holiday period.

The 23-year-old has long been seen as one of the club's premier talents, despite making limited progress in previous seasons following a horrific injury in 2010.

The youngster told BBC's Football Focus it took him "years" to get over his leg-break against Stoke City, partly explaining why his growth seemed to have been stunted prior to the 2013-14 campaign.

With his confidence restored, Ramsey's impact on the club this season was enormous. Bleacher Report UK showed everyone what a difference the Welshman has made this season just a couple of weeks ago:

Hartson told the BBC the same thing:

Aaron's done terrifically well. He's shown great mental strength.

Let's not forget 18 months ago at Arsenal he was facing a bit of a backlash from the home fans. They were thinking, 'he's not really stepped up his performances'.

But he's found something. He's gone up a gear and he's so influential to Arsenal now and the way they play.

It should come as no surprise that other clubs would be interested in the services of the youngster, and Arsenal should be quick to strike down any attempt to lure the midfielder away from the Emirates.

Ramsey is yet to give any indication of a desire to leave the club, and as Hartson said, the fact the Gunners stuck with him amidst injury and subpar performances is a strong argument in favour of a prolonged stay.

Of course, the same train of thought applied to Robin van Persie, who left the club at the end of 2012, the first season the Dutch international had remained relatively healthy throughout the campaign since 2009.

Jon Super/Associated Press

Van Persie didn't leave the club because he no longer got along with Arsene Wenger, or because there were severe problems in the dressing room. The Dutchmen left because of Arsenal's inability to win trophies, something that hasn't changed since ahead of Saturday's FA Cup final against Hull City.

No one knows whether Ramsey feels the same way or not, but regardless, a win on Saturday would effectively blow that argument out of the water.

As evidenced by B/R UK's tweet, Arsenal are clearly a better club with Ramsey on the pitch. And while his inability to avoid injury will always be a concern, his issues with health are greatly exaggerated.

Martin Meissner/Associated Press

Per, Ramsey started 25 matches this season and appeared as a substitute in four more. For a central midfielder, those numbers are respectable, if unspectacular.

Let's also not forget Ramsey isn't the only Gunner to suffer frequent injuries, something conditioning expert Raymond Verheijen blames on Wenger's archaic training methods, according to The Mirror's Ed Malyon:

An injury could be bad luck but that is the exception to the rule. In contact sports occasionally there is an unlucky injury but most injuries are a result of overloading the body... doing the wrong workload at the wrong time or in the wrong sequence," he explained.

Clearly something is going wrong. If you look at the law of the big numbers, something in the last ten years is going wrong. It’s clearly incompetence but it’s unconscious incompetence. The only way you can improve is if it’s conscious incompetence, so you’re aware of it.

Then you can act. If you are in denial, you are blaming the outside world for the injuries and not looking in the mirror then you will stay incompetent.

[...] When Arsene Wenger came to Britain in them mid-90s his training methods were revolutionary. The fact that his training methods were seen as revolutionary say something about him, but more about the training methods in England at the time. He was a forward-thinking coach, but the problem with revolutionary people is that they’re only revolutionary once in their life, so twenty years on they become average. And then they become prehistoric.

Clubs often sell decisive players, but usually for one of three reasons: The player can't be counted on, the club could use the finances or the player is a veteran whose presence won't be beneficial in the long run.

Arsenal don't need the added finances that would come with the sale of Ramsey, and the 23-year-old could still give the club a solid contributor in midfield for the next decade.

One could argue the injuries will prevent Ramsey from becoming a constant key contributor, but the club might as well be as much to blame for those frequent injuries as the player is.

Furthermore, 25 starts suggest Ramsey's injury concerns aren't as bad as you'd think.

There simply is no reason for the Gunners to sell, and the player is yet to give any indication of his desire to move to another club. Finding a new midfielder to match the Welshman's production in just a single transfer window will be very difficult, particularly in a World Cup year, when prices are about as high as they can get.

There are a lot of things Wenger does fans disagree with, but a fool he is not. He has no reason to sell one of his most prized assets in Ramsey, and if he's smart, he won't even entertain any offers.